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SA’s E-Hailing Industry: Advocating for Security and Reform

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Vusi Melane
Vusi Melane
Staff Writer

Teksi Ride, South Africa’s premier e-hailing app, sheds light on the pressing security concerns experienced by both e-hailing drivers and passengers in the country. By exploring the risks, incidents, regulatory hurdles, and potential solutions, Teksi Ride delves into the complexities surrounding safety in the e-hailing sector, ultimately advocating for enhanced measures to ensure the well-being of all involved parties.

Security matters

One of the most pressing issues facing the South African e-hailing industry is the alarming rise in security concerns. Passenger safety concerns range from reckless driving and vehicle maintenance issues to more serious threats such as assaults, robberies, and even kidnappings. Similarly, drivers find themselves vulnerable to attacks, theft, and hijackings.

Chief Executive Officer for Teksi Ride, Prince Pirikisi says, that “The root of these security challenges arises from inadequate background checks on drivers, lack of proper regulation, and insufficient safety measures within the platforms themselves contribute to the vulnerability of both passengers and drivers. Additionally, the cash-based nature of transactions in some instances opens the door to opportunistic criminal activity.”

To address these concerns and ensure the long-term viability of the e-hailing industry in South Africa, several key recommendations must be considered:

1. Enhanced Background Checks: E-hailing companies must implement rigorous background checks for all drivers, including criminal record checks and verification of driving credentials. This will help weed out individuals with a history of criminal behavior and ensure that only qualified and trustworthy individuals are behind the wheel.
2. Improved Safety Measures: Platforms should invest in robust safety features, such as GPS tracking, emergency buttons, and real-time monitoring of rides. These measures can provide passengers with peace of mind knowing that help is readily available in case of emergencies.
3. Stricter Regulation: Government regulatory bodies need to play a more proactive role in
overseeing the e-hailing industry. This includes enforcing compliance with safety standards,
imposing penalties for non-compliance and establishing clear guidelines for operating within the sector.
4. Promotion of Cashless Transactions: Encouraging cashless transactions can help mitigate the risk of robberies and assaults, as it removes the incentive for criminals to target drivers carrying cash.
5. Community Engagement: Building trust between e-hailing companies, drivers, passengers, and local communities is paramount. Engaging in dialogue with stakeholders, soliciting feedback, and actively addressing concerns can foster a culture of accountability and transparency within the industry.

Teksi Ride’ action plan

“Teksi Ride has already begun addressing these concerns by thoroughly screening our drivers, providing panic buttons for both passengers and drivers in case of emergencies, and offering a 24/7 Customer Contact Centre & Support. Our top priority is ensuring the safety and security of all individuals using our services.” adds Pirikisi

According to Pirikisi, It is imperative that action be taken swiftly to address the challenges at hand and pave the way for a future where the benefits of e-hailing services can be enjoyed without compromising on safety and security. Only through collaborative efforts and a commitment to reform can we navigate the turbulent waters ahead and steer the e-hailing industry towards a brighter and more sustainable future.

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