On Tuesday, e-hailing operators in South Africa from Bolt, Uber and others made their way to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to hand over a memorandum of demands to the government.
The e-hailing operators say that the government should intervene and regulate the e-hailing services and ensure their safety in the industry. According to Eyewitness News, the Public-Private Transport Association’s Vhatuk Mbelegwa said that the government’s involvement would really help prevent exploitation from third parties in the industry.
“This is not just an e-hailing problem, it’s a societal problem. We hope that people will advocate their voice and strength to challenge government and the industry,” Mbelegwa said.
The operators announced last week that the strike would take place between 22 March to 24 March 2022.
Some of the drivers’ grievances include how they are struggling to make ends meet in light of the rise in fuel prices, their safety in the industry, and the growing tension between competitors. The e-hailing operators also reportedly want to do away with promotions and discounts on the various apps because it decreases their commissions.
On Wednesday the marchers will be making their way to the offices of the MEC of Transport, Jacob Mamabolo to ask him why the mediation process he initiated in May last year failed, according to Eyewitness News.
Many users have also not been able to use the apps on Tuesday, some were lucky, and some just couldn’t use e-hailing services because they feared it was not safe. The prices for rides were also extremely high that particular day.
“We are aware of a group of e-hailing drivers who are planning to protest on 22-24 March 2022. We take the concerns of drivers seriously and are currently engaging directly using our various engagement channels to work towards addressing the issues. Our commitment to drivers is to continuously find ways of maximising their earning potential while meeting the needs of the riders,” Kagiso Khaole, Head of Mobility Operations for Sub-Saharan Africa at Uber told IT News Africa in a statement.
Khaole added that riders and drivers deserve to feel safe no matter how they get to and from the destination.
“We are monitoring the situation and have a number of safety features available to those who use the Uber app such as access to an In-App emergency assistance button and 24/7 in-app support. We also have an Incident Response Team (IRT) who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond immediately to any reported incidents,” he said.
By Zintle Nkohla
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