[UPDATE] Some Uber drivers plan to go offline

Uber say it's aware of a small group of driver partners who plan on going offline today.

Picture: Pexels.com

CAPE TOWN - Some Uber drivers in Cape Town have indicated they plan to go offline on Tuesday as part of a national shutdown.

Last week, a demonstration by Uber and Taxify drivers in Green Point led to scuffles with traffic officers. Four people were arrested. They were protesting over fare hikes and the ongoing impounding of their vehicles due to permit issues.

Uber driver Derick Ongansie says: “The Cape Town drivers will be supporting the call for action in solidarity with the rest of the country by staying offline for 24 hours. There will be no visible protest.”

There has, however, been no indication that the e-hailing taxi service has yet been affected in Cape Town today.

Uber says it is only aware of a small group of drivers planning on going offline in Johannesburg.

It says it's investigating whether the disgruntled drivers are indeed part of its platform.

Bhatuka Mbelengwa, who represents a group of Uber and Taxify drivers in Gauteng, says drivers are unhappy with management structures.

“We want a seat, as drivers, on the board of directors of these companies. Essentially we fund the vehicles, we pay for our own training, we ensure we’re compliant and pay our own insurance. We need a voice and think we deserve a seat on the board of directors of these companies.”

The drivers say they will be marching from Zoo Lake in Johannesburg and plan to hand over a memorandum at the company's offices.

The company says it respects the drivers' decision to strike and management is available to speak to them on any issue.

Uber says it constantly monitors fares and examines consumer price sensitivities to ensure fares are correctly priced so that riders continue to take trips and drivers have access to more paying passengers.

"Drivers have a number of channels available to engage with Uber, including daily office hours, 24/7 support and regular partner roundtables."

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)