Ride-sharing services Uber and Taxify are both in the news this week following alleged criminal incidents involving their driver-partners in South Africa.
News24 reports that four men have been accused of committing multiple crimes, which include using the Uber app to kidnap women before they were robbed and raped.
In addition to criminal charges, two of the victims have indicated that they will be pursuing civil action against Uber in March.
In a separate incident, Taxify is investigating claims that two Cape Town women were stabbed by one of their drivers after it emerged that they did not have fare money.
Gareth Taylor, country manager of Taxify in South Africa, said that the company was aware of media reports that there had been an incident near Okavango Drive in Cape Town, and that it had activated its “high priority” team to investigate.
Both Uber and Taxify have continued to roll out a number of safety features to protect both passengers and drivers in the country.
Uber announced in December that it would offer 24/7 phone support through its app.
Uber said that users can access the feature by tapping ‘help’ in the main menu of the app and then selecting the ‘call’ option to be connected to Uber’s 24/7 support team.
Riders can also contact the Uber support team through the 24/7 in-app messaging feature or visit help.uber.com for frequently asked questions, it said.
However, Uber said that riders should still call 10111 or use the in-app emergency button which connects to its third-party security providers.
Taxify announced a similar feature in September, with its app connecting quickly and easily to private security response teams, emergency medical services and roadside assistance in the event of any medical or security emergencies.