A compromise agreement has been reached between ride hailing drivers and taxi drivers following violence over customers in the last few days.

E-hailing drivers, including Uber and Bolt, have been banned from dropping off or picking up passengers inside malls in Soweto for a period of three months.

This ban follows violent activities over the past few days which saw some Bolt and Uber vehicles burnt by taxi drivers who accused the operators of stealing their customers in the malls. The ban was introduced as a form of a ceasefire agreement between the taxi operators and ride-hailing drivers.

“Whether the solution is the best now is uncertain, but it is a solution nonetheless. At the end of the day, we must try something to ensure the safety of the community and us,” said Vhatuka Mbelengwa, national spokesperson for the South African E-hailing Association.

The discussions between the e-hailing association and the Soweto Taxi Services (STS) were facilitated by the City of Joburg. The ban will be in place until a permanent solution is found.

For the taxi drivers, chairperson Myekeleni Madlala also welcomed the agreement.

“This is an agreement and not a final one. We are doing this for the safety of everyone and to ensure everyone is protected. We have agreed they will not enter the malls and will only stop at the gates of the malls. A permanent solution will still be discussed at a later stage,” he added.

The city of Johannesburg, on the other hand, states that discussions for a more permanent solution will take place this Friday to plot a way forward.

“We will meet again on Friday to finalise the last solutions. However, for now, we have agreed that all the e-hailing services/cars must do their drop off at the gates of the malls but when they are carrying elderly people or people with disabilities, they can then drop them off inside the mall and leave,” said Kenny Kunene, a member of the mayoral committee.

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