Uber celebrating six years in SA


There are mixed reactions to the leading e-hailing service Uber since years after being launched in South Africa.

Commuters love the service but the friction between them and the taxi industry remains the biggest concern.

The app recently celebrated its sixth year in South Africa, users of the app and enjoy its Uber Eats offering.

Neo Mokone, a final year student at Rosebank College, said she uses Taxify but she is familiar with Uber and feels that it is convenient, fast and safe.

“I haven’t used Uber Eats since most restaurants are a few minutes from where I stay.”

Bongi Mpofu, a hairstylist in Joburg, said she started using Uber some time ago and feels that it’s safer than other modes of transport.

“It’s affordable. I would definitely recommend it,” she said.

Mpofu commended Uber for being affordable.

Personal finance adviser Thenjiwe Mazingi who lives in Sunnyside, Pretoria, started using the e-hailing service in 2016 and has never looked back.

According to the Competition Commission, 52% of Uber passengers have never used metered Taxis.

National Taxi Alliance spokesperson Theo Malele said Uber has been given easy ride into the market.

“Uber has been favoured over other modes of transport. They were just born yesterday then out of the blue, they get operating licences” Malele said.

He said the taxi industry which has been operating longer does not enjoy the same treatment.

The apps spokesperson Samantha Fuller explained that the operating license issuance system is broken for all transport operators, not just for those using e-hailing services like Uber.

She said Uber is an open and non-exclusive application that even the metered taxi industry are using to boost their income.

Fuller encouraged more metered taxi drivers to use the app.

She said Uber was engaging with the relevant departments on regulations and policies that take into account new forms of mobility.

“We will continue to take steps to ensure drivers follow the required steps to apply for their operating permits in terms of the current NLTA [no 5 of 2009], however, we encourage the relevant departments to fix their issuance systems to ensure licenses are being issued within 90 days as per the regulation,” said Fuller.

Uber travels over 9 million kilometres, 138,767.37km in South Africa and a single driver contributes just over 3 800 trips to the figure to the figure.

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