Uber is not a taxi company

By Staff Writer
There has been a lot of bad press surrounding Uber lately. From bans in some European countries, alleged rapes by the drivers in India, and overpriced fares during the Sydney hostage saga, the company seems to tacking some serious hits.
 
But what does this all mean for Uber South Africa?
 
Justmoney spoke to Samantha Allenburg from Uber about how Uber works and if all the international controversy around it was affecting Uber South Africa at all.
 
What has been the uptake in South Africa?
 
The uptake has been incredible; we are humbled by how much South Africans have embraced the Uber platform. South Africans love having an alternative choice in moving around their city, at a very affordable price point.
 
For riders, we want to be the safest, most affordable and reliable ride. Uber is the 'gold standard' when it comes to consumer safety and this is all because of the technological innovation in the app.
 
Has all the news that Uber is being banned in other countries affecting South Africa at all?
 
History shows us that every truly revolutionary innovation was faced with stiff opposition from incumbents and rearguard actions by regulators.
 
Despite a few individual, country-specific setbacks, the future is bright for Uber South Africa and the sharing economy.
 
We believe there is political momentum in many countries to embrace technology services such as Uber, at a time of high unemployment and a floundering economic recovery.
 
We will continue to be a constructive partner in finding solutions that will create more choice, more economic opportunity and more benefits for the people of South Africa.
 
You said Uber is not a taxi company, yet it employs taxi drivers? How does that work?
 
To clarify, we don't own cars or employ any drivers. We partner with an existing supply of transport operators, providing them with the tools to grow their own businesses.
 
We provide the partner drivers with the Uber technology, as well as the hardware to run the technology.
 
Each partner driver is taken through an in-depth three step training process, where they learn how the Uber app and GPS navigation system works, various scenarios they might encounter while on the road, and the importance of putting the customer first and how to provide them with the best service possible.
 
However, the bad news keeps coming with it reported today by Fin24 that there will be better screening processes in place for Uber drivers.
 
As public transport in South Africa is not always the best, we need a reliable taxi service to help us get around. But is that Uber?

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