Despite what campus security officers say there appears to be no policy preventing metered taxis from dropping customers on campus.

Uber and Bolt cars are being prevented from entering the Wits University campus without official drop-off permits according to students and staff making use of the metered taxis. Members of the university community took to Twitter to complain about the situation which they claimed was unfair as they were not aware of any rule preventing drivers from coming onto campus and unsafe because they were forced to get off on the street .

Wits Vuvuzela used an Uber to access the Yale road entrance on Tuesday, August 13, but the car was prevented from entering the main campus through the visitors’ entrance on Yale Road.

A campus control officer told the driver that this is a “new policy” and that they (campus control officers) were told all Ubers needed to purchase a drop-off card before they would be allowed to gain entry.

“We have been issuing letters since last week and the information is in the letter,” said the campus control officer at Yale Road.

The officer was referring to a slip of paper handed out to students on Thursday, August 8, which, according to students was a notice of the policy. Wits Vuvuzela has not seen a copy of this slip and when asked to produce a copy, campus control officers said they did not have any more.  Director of campus control, Gary Kruser says the slips were given as a reminder to students who are regularly dropped-off by family members or other drivers to carry their drop-off permits as that is standard university procedure.

Kruser told Wits Vuvuzela that there is no policy which says that Ubers are not allowed on campus without drop-off permits and it is not necessary for Ubers to purchase drop-off permits.

“If an Uber is going to pick someone up, they need to go to the visitor side and show a location point.” “If the Uber is dropping off a student, they (the student) needs to show their student card. If they don’t have proof, they need to register,” said Kruser.

Kruser said that Ubers showing their maps on their phones or registering as visitors is to tighten security measures and ensure that people without valid reasons to be on campus do not enter the premises.

Kruser said he had spoken with members of the SRC who are expected to communicate the information to the student community.

The Uber driver who transported Wits Vuvuzela said that he has been stopped a number of times and had been given a different excuse by campus control on each occasion.

“I’m coming from inside right now and within two minutes I have been given another excuse,” said the Uber driver, who asked to remain anonymous.

“When I got in the last time they did not even give me a card, they just said ‘go in’ and when I came back [to exit campus] they said that I have to have a drop-card,” the driver said.


FEATURED IMAGE: Vehicles entering Wits University campus at the Yale Road entrance on the Braamfontein side on August 14, 2019. Photo: Busang Senne.