Uber and Bolt drivers in Cape Town have embarked on a strike demanding a bigger cut on earnings and the fast-tracking of permits for e-hailing operators in the Western Cape.
Disgruntled drivers started protesting on Wednesday when they went to Bolt’s offices in the city to submit a memorandum with their demands.
They continued their strike on Thursday by submitting a memorandum to the office of Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.
In addition to a faster process for renewing permits, which are currently suffering a significant backlog, the drivers want a moratorium on the impounding of vehicles.
Uber Union chair Siyabonga Hlabisa that said that drivers want Uber to cut its commission from 25% to 10% and increase drivers’ rate per kilometre to R10.
Protesting drivers gave the companies 14 days to respond to their demands. Their demands are shown in the video below.
Head of communications for Uber in South Africa, Mpho Sebelebele, told MyBroadband the company was aware of the protest.
“We have and will continue to engage drivers directly using our various engagement channels to work towards addressing the issues because we take them seriously,” Sebelebele stated.
Sebelebele said that Uber had already implemented several fare increases in 2022, with the latest being announced this past July.
“We recognise the pressures drivers are under, including the increasing cost of living,” Sebelebele stated.
“It’s important to understand that fares do fluctuate as a normal part of any business based on various factors such as seasonality and the macroeconomic environment.”
“Recently, we have seen driver earnings begin to recover in South Africa and we are constantly looking for ways of helping drivers increase their earnings on the platform while providing riders with more cost-effective options of moving around.”
Bolt did not immediately respond to our request for comment.