[UPDATE] No sign of Uber management as frustrated drivers reach headquarters

Uber drivers are protesting against the increasing number of drivers added to the service, which they say has affected their profits.

Hundreds of protesting Uber drivers have gathered in Sandton, planning to hand over a memorandum to management. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of uber drivers have gathered outside Uber’s Sandton headquarters.

Many drivers in Johannesburg and Cape Town have decided to go offline on Tuesday to protest working conditions.

Uber, however, says it’s only aware of a small group of driver-partners who planned on going offline on Tuesday in Johannesburg.

They’re frustrated with the increasing number of drivers added to the service, arguing it makes it hard for them to make a profit.

They’re also calling on Uber to increase prices to include a base fare of R50.

Tensions are high in Sandton, where hundreds of Uber drivers have converged on the firm’s headquarters.

Management from Uber has not yet met with the protesting drivers.

Protesters say Uber management decided to stay away because of this protest.

The frustrated drivers say they’re battling to make a living because of the way Uber chooses to function.

A memorandum with a list of demands is being carried by some of those leading the march.

Among the demands, is that all prices increase, that Uber should stop adding cars to the “already saturated” market and that the company should stop training new drivers.

The disgruntled drivers say they deserve to be represented on the board of the company.

In a statement, Uber said: “We respect driver-partners as valuable partners with a voice and a choice and we want driver-partners to feel they can talk to us about anything at any time. Drivers are diverse in how they use the Uber app and it would be difficult for an individual or group to holistically represent every driver on the app.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)