• Parliament's portfolio committee on transport formally turned in a report on an amendment Bill that will regulate "electronic hailing services" – like Uber.
  • If passed, the new law will include a R100,000 fine for a company like Uber if it does not "disconnect" a driver without a valid permits.
  • The permits will allow regulators to specify the geographic area where any Uber driver may operate.
  • It also requires that e-hail vehicles be marked.

An "electronic hailing" or "e-hailing" service like Uber will face a fine of up to R100,000 if it keeps on a driver without a legal permit if Parliament's transport committee has its way.

The committee this week submitted a report on its work on the National Land Transport Amendment Bill, which includes e-hailing services alongside metered taxis as a regulated sector.

It will be up to a company such as Uber to ensure that its drivers are properly licensed, under the rules the committee recommends.

If an e-hailing platform does not disconnect a driver without a permit, or whose permit has lapsed, and is convicted of that offence, the law will allow for a fine of up to R100,000.

See also: After stabbings and an acid attack, Uber South Africa introduces a new safety feature. But there's a catch.

The permits will allow regulators to determine the geographic location where any Uber-type vehicle may operate.

Uber uses its occasionally controversial "surge pricing" system to encourage drivers to move into areas where there is sudden high demand.

Under the proposed rules an e-hailed vehicle will be allowed to take a customer it picks up within its allowed area beyond its borders – but must then return empty to its home territory.

If Parliament passes the Bill as it now stands, the minister of transport will be forced to issue regulations that require e-hail cabs to carry special markings.

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