Rivalry between Uber/Bolt and South African Taxis

Will the feud ever come to an end?

The hostility of South African taxi owners/drivers is not only putting the lives of Uber/Bolt drivers in jeopardy but passengers as well.

With the increase in Uber/Bolt drives, brutality and rage amongst Taxi drivers seems to be fueling. There are over 150 000 Uber drivers in Africa yet South African Uber drivers appear to be the ones in harms way.

They face a challenge when it comes to operating by being bullied on the road by Taxi drivers.

This convenient mode of transportation was first introduced to South Africa in August 2013 and has been growing ever since. Uber and Bolt came as a form of liberation for individuals who are independent and find no comfort in working in an office or under supervision.

African View News had a chat with one of Uber drivers who had happened to be taking our journalist Lineo Khabele home. Edison Chabangu who has been working as an Uber driver since 2016, gave some insight on his life behind the wheel.

He mentioned that Gauteng has a lot of Uber danger zones. An Uber danger zone means that Uber/Bolt cars cannot enter the perimeter as the level of crime, hijackings to be specific is alarmingly high. “Even your tracking company calls you when you’re entering a danger zone” he added.

Chabangu listed the danger zones in Gauteng being: Pretoria CBD, Hillbrow, Yeoville, Johannesburg hostel, Dube and Eldorado park. If a client ever calls from one of the locations, they always request with a different location pinned then explain in the car where exactly they are going as they are aware of the dangers of their actual location, he added.

According to Chabangu, in 2017 more Uber/Bolt drivers were attacked around Snake Park, which is a township that is within the depth of Soweto. “A colleague of mine was brutally murdered in Snake Park, how I’m still able to do deliveries in the wee hours of the night in that place still surprises me“, he added.

Chabangu added that it only takes courage to be a driver in the industry they’re in. “The honesty and diligence of our fellow Uber/Bolt drivers is not praised”.

By Lineo Khabele for African View News

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