Uber drivers want assurances following deactivation claims

On Tuesday, Uber drivers blocked 7th Avenue around the company’s offices in Parktown demanding a meeting over safety and other issues.

Uber head office in Parktown. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Uber drivers say management sometimes threatens to deactivate them from the Uber app, when they try to raise concerns.

The drivers blocked 7th Avenue around the company’s offices in Parktown on Tuesday, demanding a meeting over safety and other issues.

Uber responded by condemning what it says was an illegal gathering and the subsequent disruption and inconvenience caused to motorists.

The cab-hailing service says it respects its drivers as valuable partners with a voice and a choice. It adds it wants driver-partners to feel they can talk to management about anything at any time. However, the company says it cannot liaise with parties who are acting illegally and violently.

Drivers say they would like an assurance that they will not be deactivated from the app when complaining.

Driver representative Teresa Munchick says: “They are deactivated for things like fraud, but they don’t know what they are talking about. It’s not explained and it’s not said which trip was an issue.”

She says Uber has in the past rejected calls to discuss concerns such as safety. But, the company refutes this, saying drivers are also only deactivated if they are found guilty of an offence.

WATCH: Uber drivers protest for protection on the road

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)