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Disgruntled Uber, Taxify drivers to be offline again over unmet demands

Hundreds of operators gathered outside Uber’s head office in Sandton on Tuesday where a memorandum was given to management.

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

JOHANNESBURG – Many Uber and Taxify driver partners say they will continue to be off-line today.

Hundreds of operators gathered outside Uber’s head office in Sandton on Tuesday where a memorandum was given to management.

They are demanding Uber stop putting more cars on the road.

Spokesperson for the General Task Team Vhatuka Mbelengwa says: “What we’re seeking is for everybody’s pocket to be affected so we can get to a point whereby we’re negotiating and everybody’s pocket has been filled correctly and we can all go home at the end of the day.”

Meanwhile, protesting e-hailing service operators have given Uber management 48 hours to respond to their demands or face further protests.

Mbelengwa says this is not the end of their campaign.

“In the interim, we’re going to continue to be offline. We’re going to mobilise drivers and engage with them in different areas who may not be aware of what’s happening so that we can make them aware and correctly encourage them to stay offline.”

Uber says it's committed to working with its drivers and says it's invited it driver-partners to discuss their experiences with the company.

Uber spokersperson Samantha Allenberg says the service "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 fare-paying passengers".

Uber argues that if fares were to increase, then riders may take fewer trips which will ultimately lead to lower earnings.

Taxify says it is addressing the concerns of its drivers, adding that it has met with drivers to hear their concerns and it is already started implementing operational changes to address them.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the responses of Uber and Taxify to the complaints raised.

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