Read time: 3 minutes

SA police call for vigilance after Taxify murder

SA police call for vigilance after Taxify murder

The South African Police Services (SAPS) has urged the public and cab hailing service drivers specifically to be vigilant after a man was burned to death in a Taxify car last night in Sunnyside, Pretoria.

Daniel Mavimbela, a Captain at SAPS, said investigations are continuing and members of the public should take safety precautions and keep in contact with the police.

"The best we can do is to appeal to the public in general to be on alert and to contact the police whenever they happen to spot any suspicious or unlawful activity happening around taxi stops or anywhere else within their communities. We also urge these taxi organisations to find peaceful means of settling their differences."

In July last year, an Uber driver whose car was torched in the same city later died of his injuries.

A petition by Uber to South Africa's National Department of Transport in September calling for "firm enough action against violent criminals" is now 3000 signatures short of reaching the target of 50 000.

Uber alleges that despite a number of discussions with South Africa regulators and policy makers, including police ministry, "no meaningful interventions or arrests have been made."

In a statement Gareth Taylor, Country Manager for Taxify in South Africa said the company is in contact with the family of the deceased as well as the rider following the incident. He confirmed that Taxify will conduct its own investigation.

"It deeply saddens Taxify to hear of the passing of Mr. Siyabonga Langelihle Ngcobo. Taxify's High Priority Team is currently investigating this as a matter of urgency to aid police in their investigation."

Taylor adds that other measures that Taxify has taken to improve safety include continuously building relationships with law enforcement; regular communication with drivers about possible high risk areas; and setting up a dedicated high priority team that deals with cases related to safety.

Ride hailing on a growth trajectory

In an exclusive interview with ITWeb Africa earlier this month regarding plans to expand across the continent, Troels Andersen, CEO and Co-founder of Kenyan taxi-hailing company Mondo Ride said that rapid urbanisation and population growth will mean that the industry will grow at an even faster pace in the coming years.

"With the high urbanisation rates seen in many African countries, having private companies help move people more efficiently, safely and conveniently we see it as a very positive development. Globally, the ride-hailing market has grown to US$36bn in the last eight years and is expected to reach US$285bn by the year 2030. Africa will have its share in the growth. Currently, there is a rapid population growth and urbanisation all over Africa and yet limited job and wealth creation. The middle class is expanding and still marginalised due to lack of mobility. By 2050, more than 50% of the African population will be living in cities and the now considered lower income class will transition into the middle class. These all factors create a big need for logistical solutions in the African market."

Mondoride launched its businesses in Kisumu, Dar es Salaam and Kampala this week and plans and has plans to launch in more countries including South Africa.

Taxify revealed at the end of July 2017 that after a year of operating in South Africa, it managed to grow its number of registered drivers to over 10 000.

The company has since added Port Elizabeth to the three cities in which it operates and has announced plans to "Further entrench Taxify into our riders' eco system by becoming part of popular rewards programs and launching rider discount campaigns," going forward.

Read more
Daily newsletter