Uber engages with associations to find solution

Protests are expected to continue until demands are met

Uber says it has been engaged in efforts to try to meet the demands of its driver partners.
Uber says it has been engaged in efforts to try to meet the demands of its driver partners.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

E-hailing company Uber says it has spent the last month holding talks with various drivers’ associations and government in an attempt to understand their concerns.

This comes as e-hailing drivers have downed tools, as fees e-hailing companies charge customers have been dropping over the years, resulting in income generated by drivers dwindling.

“In the last month, we have been engaging with the Soweto E-hailing Association, Western Cape E-Hailing Council, metered taxi associations and many other structures and government departments,” said Uber in a statement to Sowetan.

“So far, we are forming workable solutions for the benefit of an inclusive ride-sharing industry, while upholding the independent status of drivers operating on the app.”

The firm said the service fee ensured the running of the Uber app, which came out of Uber’s service fee for each fare.

“The service fee also helps us maintain and make continuous investments to enhance our technology designed to meet the needs of riders and drivers. We recognise the pressures drivers are under, including the increasing cost of living. It’s important to understand that fares do fluctuate as a regular part of any business based on various factors such as seasonality and the macroeconomic environment,” said Uber.

The Soweto United E-hailing Association (Suea) and several other associations embarked on a shutdown from Monday, saying they would only resume work once the companies and government respond to their demands.

Suea chairperson Thato Ramaila said

for example, in 2016 a client was charged R250 for a 15km trip but this year, the same trip has dropped to R86.

He said the shutdown continued as they had not received positive feedback.


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