South Africa’s Uber and Bolt drivers go on strike, demand higher pay

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August 17, 2022
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2 min read

Uber and Bolt drivers in Cape Town, South Africa, have embarked on a two-day strike. 

The ride-hailing drivers are protesting for lower commission fees, higher pay rates, and a faster approval process for ride-hailing companies operating in the Western Cape, a South African province.

Drivers also want a moratorium on vehicle impoundment, which is currently experiencing a significant backlog.

Remember that in March 2022, South Africa’s ride-hailing services, including Uber and Bolt, embarked on a three-day strike to protest record-high gasoline prices and pressure the government to pass industry regulations to protect their rights.

And now, this strike, which started on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, is scheduled to last until Thursday, August 18, 2022.

Siyabonga Hlabisa, Chair of the Uber Union, stated that drivers want Uber to reduce its commission from 25% to 10% and raise the rate per kilometre to R10 ($0.60).

The protesting drivers went to Bolt's offices in Cape Town on August 17 to present a memorandum of demands and gave the companies 14 days to respond to their requests. 

Uber has already raised its fares three times this year to compensate for higher fuel costs. Bolt's prices have risen by 20%.

Moreover, with exorbitant petrol prices and low trip fares, many South African ride-hailing drivers say they are treated like underpaid employees with no benefits and little room for negotiation.

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According to Hlabisa, the drivers are also concerned about their safety and want Uber to stop deactivating them.

On Tuesday, August 16, 2022, representatives from Uber and Bolt met with drivers in Gauteng, a province in South Africa, to discuss potential pricing changes. 

The provincial government facilitated the meeting, which will be followed by separate gatherings later this month for Bolt (August 25) and Uber (August 26).


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She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
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She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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