Telecoms companies refuse to block ride-share apps

June 14, 2024
Transport Minister Daryl Vaz - File photo

Transport Minister Daryl Vaz has advised that no ban is currently in place on ride-share applications amid the refusal of local telecommunications companies to block the apps.

Vaz announced the ban on ride-share applications in his Sectoral presentation in the House of Representatives on June 4.

However, in a media release on Friday, Vaz said only one telecommunications company has responded to his letter requesting restriction on access to the applications.

"This response was delayed, arriving six days after the dated letter," he said.

He said "while not objecting to the ban, the company has requested that supporting legal documentation is provided to indicate the authority to implement such restrictions. The other telecoms provider is yet to respond. There is therefore no ban in place at this time."

Vaz said he will be engaging the ministers of national security and justice and the Cabinet to establish regulation that will prevent telecommunications companies from denying a request from the Government which seeks to protect national security.

"I feel very strongly that any minister of government that sees or deems any issue as a national security risk that that legislation should be in place and it should be clear and definitive that it is an instruction and an order and not a request," Vaz said.

He said the government has taken the decision to allow local ride-sharing companies to continue operating while the regulatory framework is being developed.

Vaz argued that while his announcement did not have the expected impact, it brought several ride-hailing operators to the table for much needed dialogue geared towards regulating and streamlining the service.

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