Uber, Taxify: Drivers v corporate

On Monday morning, thousands of concerned Uber and Taxify drivers met to discuss a memorandum which they delivered to the Uber head offices in Sandton.

Commuters were warned on social media and over the radio about a Uber and Taxify meeting which took place at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg.

In a statement released by Uber, the company said that it was aware that some drivers were planning to disable the ride-hailing app.

According to one of the drivers’ designated speakers, Stephen Bhebe, drivers are concerned that they were being left out of discussions regarding policy making.

Bhebe likened being left out of the policy-making discussions as “technological slavery”, because of the high cost of running an Uber vehicle.

According to Bhebe, despite the increase in fuel prices, Uber and Taxify fares have remained the same.

READ MORE: Uber sued for pay inequality, sexual harassment, discrimination

Uber driver Cosmos Mdhlolo said that on average, drivers make about R16 000 a month, but the expense to drive either the UberX, Uber Black and Uber Van seriously cuts their profits. This was especially so since the number of daily rides varied with Uberx drivers making between 12 and 15 trips to an Uber van driver making an average of one or two trips a day.

On average, Mdhlolo said, drivers will spend R2 800 on fuel, R4 000 on renting the car, and R2 250 on insurance per month. These daily operating costs exclude paying excess on damages and routine service on the cars. Over and above the drivers’ operating expenses, drivers are expected to pay Uber and Taxify 25% and 15% respectively in order to use the app.

Uber has responded by stating that steps had been taken earlier in June to reduce the impact of fuel increases, recognising the expense of fuel. Uber said that it had launched a winter incentive which is based on a calculation of the number of trips the drivers make and the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. 

Effectively, drivers will receive an amount based on the city they work in and the vehicles they drive. For instance, if an UberX driver in Johannesburg completes a certain number of trips in a week, they will receive an additional R100 for that week.

But, the company was not planning on increasing fares anytime soon.

“What we‘ve seen in cities across the world is that lower fares mean greater demand, lower pickup times and more trips per hour,” Uber’s statement read. “We constantly monitor to ensure that supply and demand are in balance.”

READ MORE: Uber drivers fight back with spotters

Another concern for Mdhlolo was safety. As a father of six, he questioned who would look after his children if something were to happen to him. He explained that Uber drivers were susceptible to hijackings and robberies. To add to the concern of safety, Bhebe said that there is still animosity between Uber and the metered taxi association.

Uber said they had tried to address drivers’ safety concerns with the launch of a mobile emergency app. The app is meant to connect drivers to the “closest private response vehicles”.

However, Bhebe said that the app has not stopped attacks in and around hotspots.

“Uber makes right for us and we make right for Uber. But they are changing slowly to the bad,” Mdhlolo said. 

Advertisting

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide

We need to ask awkward questions about our schools

Ignore the language used in brochures and on open days and be vigilant about the details

Study unpacks the ‘hidden racism’ at Stellenbosch

Students say they feel unseen and unheard at the university because of their skin colour

Ramaphosa enters the fray in fight between Gordhan and Mkhwebane

The president said his court case is “unfortunate” and a “measure of last resort”
Advertising

Press Releases

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.