Bolt drivers in Botswana will work for 6 months without paying commission

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February 28, 2024
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2 min read
Bolt

The news: 

  • Bolt has disclosed that it’s launching in Botswana’s capital of Gaborone, increasing its market presence on the continent and joining inDrive, the only other player in the country.
  • As part of its rollout plans, the Estonian mobility company, which also offers micro-mobility rental, food and grocery delivery, and carsharing services, disclosed that it won’t be charging the usual 15% to 20% commission from drivers for the first six months. 
  • The company has reportedly onboarded 100 drivers to kickstart ride-sharing services in the Southern African nation.

Botswana is the 14th African country where the mobility company will roll out its services since its entrance into South Africa in 2016. The new launch will continue Bolt’s expansion plans in the Southern African market, following its introduction into Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia in the last six months. 

Laurent Koerge, who serves as Bolt’s Head of Expansion, expressed excitement over the unveiling of the company’s ride-sharing services in Botswana.  According to him, the company’s aim “is to increase earnings for our drivers while fostering high demand through competitive pricing.”

While the nascent ride-sharing market in Botswana positions Bolt to capitalise on the growth opportunities, the company will also have to deal with an operating environment that’s not entirely enabling for ride-hailing platforms. 

In recent years, Bolt has come up with several safety features to protect its users: the drivers and the passengers (or riders). 

Examples include the SOS button that lets drivers and riders reach out to the police instantly, a share-my-ride option that allows users to share real-time ride details with whomever, and an unmatching feature that prevents future matching between drivers and riders. 

Besides protecting users, the company also hopes these features will be proactive enough to forestall the issues of misconduct that are prevalent in the country’s ride-sharing market. 

Additionally, Bolt will mandate drivers to bear all relevant licenses as required by the country’s mobility regulator. 

In December 2019, inDrive launched in Botswana, making it the first ride-hailing company in the country. Five years later, it has become a favourite for drivers and commuters. Until Bolt's expansion into the country, inDrive remained the only ride-hailing platform in the country.

But this has not been without its numerous difficulties, including alleged misconduct by its drivers and pushback from resistance from public transport organisations.

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Its only competitor in the country, Bolt announced in 2023 to invest €500 million ($542.8 million) in the African market, with objectives to expand and create job opportunities for more than 300,000 new drivers. Its launch in Botswana is consistent with these objectives. 


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