Riding sharing app Uber says it will expand to 21 smaller cities and towns across South Africa, taking its service to 40 cities in all nine provinces.
“Riders in these cities will have the option to request Uber’s best-priced mobility option, Uber Go – with trips starting at R16 and making use of smaller, fuel-efficient hatchback vehicles – or the original UberX category, with trips starting from R18,” it said.
“No matter where riders are heading to, they will always receive an upfront price estimate, which means that they never have to wonder.”
Uber said that despite the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic in the last year, its operations are seeing signs of recovery. “We’re bullish that we can deliver strong growth as we continue to unlock opportunities through the Uber platform and our entry into these new cities is testament to our investment in South Africa,” it said.
South Africans will now be able to request an Uber in the following areas:
- Cape West Coast (Vredenburg, Saldanha, Langebaan)
- Garden Route (Mossel Bay, George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay)
- Mbombela (previously Nelspruit)
- Richards Bay
The group said that improving access to transportation for riders in smaller cities comes with a focus on affordability and safety.
To this effect, the company said it has introduced various safety tools and access to in-app emergency features that connect the driver or rider to third-party security or medical assistance.
Additionally, all drivers go through a background check before they start working for the company, which it says goes beyond any legal requirement in South Africa.
“Uber has further developed safety mechanisms in response to Covid-19, including a pre-trip safety checklist, world-first mask recognition technology and financial assistance to drivers who had been placed on quarantine by a medical professional,” it said.