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Uber vehicles impounded in South Africa: executive

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 06:27
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Police in Cape Town, South Africa, impounded 33 Uber vehicles over the weekend in a dispute over what type of permits drivers should hold, an Uber executive said.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Police in Cape Town, South Africa, impounded 33 Uber vehicles over the weekend in a dispute over what type of permits drivers should hold, an Uber executive said.

Uber has faced regulatory setbacks all over the world in recent months. Last month, it drew bans in France, Spain and the Netherlands. It was also banned in Delhi after a female passenger there claimed an Uber driver had raped her.

Drivers for the service, which offers rides that customers can summon from a smartphone app, need an operating license under national law, said Alon Lits, general manager for Durban and Johannesburg.

But individual South African cities have called for different subcategories of the license. In Cape Town, after several months of discussion with Uber, officials decided late last year on a metered-taxi license.

Drivers have since had trouble obtaining that license because of requirements they submit a business case and other issues, Lits said.

A spokesman for the Cape Town police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Uber continues to operate in Cape Town, and some of the impounded cars have already been released, Lits said. "As far as we're concerned, it's still business as usual,"Lits said. "We're committed to engaging with the city, and creating a clear route to licensing.

REUTERS