South African taxi drivers protest against app-based taxi service, Uber

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Hundreds of South African taxi drivers on Friday blocked roads to Johannesburg airport, holding up thousands of travelers and causing traffic chaos in a protest against the app-based taxi service Uber, local media reported.

“The train going to the airport was packed with passengers trying desperately to catch their flights,’’ witnesses said.

The local media reported that some travelers were seen walking toward the airport, hauling their luggage.

The taxi drivers accused U.S.-based Uber, which operates in South Africa’s main cities of pulling down prices and preventing them from making a living.

“From this day, we don’t want to see Uber in our country, because it’s illegal,’’ one taxi driver said to newsmen.

According to the local media, metered taxi drivers say Uber drivers do not pay licence fees.

Meanwhile, the local media was unable to obtain a comment from Uber’s South African branch.

Uber has faced protests from other taxi drivers in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

It was not immediately known if the protest would lead to flights being delayed.

The local media was also unable to reach the communications department of Johannesburg airport.

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