WARNING: More taxi cabs exposed to robberies

Taxi cabs and their drivers in the eThekwini Outer South Cluster, especially in the Umlazi Township and surrounding areas, have been falling victim to carjackings and robberies.

The drivers are called to pick up a customer, once the passenger is picked up, a firearm is produced and the taxi driver is hijacked and robbed of his earnings and personal belongings. In most cases, their taxi earnings are taken and their personal valuables such as cellphones.

Taxi cabs, especially Uber and Taxify, have become targets of these crimes. On some occasions, the taxi vehicle is taken and the driver is kidnapped. He is eventually dropped off in an area unknown to him.

ALSO READ: Taxi driver stabbed to death in Isipingo

The eThekwini Outer South SAPS communications officer, Cpt C Rhynes, said they are concerned about criminal activities taking place with taxis belonging to Uber and Taxify.

“Both these companies have been requested by the SAPS to work with them in order to help bring awareness to their drivers. We want to work with Uber and Taxify drivers to help prevent them from becoming victims of such crimes,” Cpt Rhynes said.

According to Cpt Rhynes, Taxify has been reluctant to meet with police to discuss a way forward to prevent such crimes from occurring.

“Uber has been working with the police by reporting these matters and holding meetings with their drivers to discuss helpful hints to keep them safe and prevent such crimes occurring on the more regular basis,” added Cpt Rhynes.

ALSO READ: Taxi passengers taken on terror ride

Thando Gumede, an Umlazi resident, said that the recent incidents are affecting them as taxify users. “I use Taxify most of the time as it is cheap and fast, but now ever since the rise of carjackings, it has become hard to get the driver to accept your request for pickup,” Gumede said.

All taxi drivers operating under the umbrella of Taxify and Uber, are invited to attend a future meeting to help address the prevention of such crimes. The meeting will be held to discuss the way forward, in keeping taxi drivers safe and aware of the criminals common tactics, in their line of business.

Those who operate as taxi drivers, under the same method, but are not with Taxify or Uber, are also welcome to attend the meeting.

eThekwini Outer South Cluster SAPS is appealing to all Taxify drivers to call the eThekwini Outer South Cluster Police OCC office on 031 325-5530 at any time.

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Candice George

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