Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
2 Aug 2022
10:32 am

Uber and Bolt set to resume mediation talks with Gauteng drivers

Citizen Reporter

Drivers want the e-hailing companies to address pricing, security, fare structuring as well as downgrading of vehicles, amongst other issues.

Picture File: E-hailing drivers during a protest at the Union Buildings on 22 March 2022, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Mediation talks between e-hailing technology companies, Uber and Bolt, are set to resume on Tuesday with the Gauteng e-Hailing Partners Council (GEPCO).

E-hailing mediation talks

The mediation process, scheduled to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, comes amid calls from partner drivers for the e-hailing companies to adjust fares amid the raising global fuel prices.

Drivers’ have accused the companies of exploitation and want concerns around security, fare structuring as well as downgrading of vehicles – amongst other issues – to be addressed.

ALSO READ: E-hailing drivers call for minimum fare of R50 for short trips

Last month, a group of Uber drivers stormed the e-hailing companies’ offices in Sandton, Johannesburg, demanding fare increases.

Some e-hailing drivers have threatened to embark on a shutdown from 8 August, if their demands for increased fares are not met.

Earlier this year, in March, drivers embark on a similar protest for three days in Gauteng. The drivers switched off their apps in protest against alleged exploitation from companies such as Uber, Bolt and Didi, and called on government to step in to regulate the industry.

READ MORE: Police officer attacked and gun stolen during e-hailing drivers’ strike

On Monday, Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo welcomed the resumption of the mediation talks meant to find sustainable and amicable solutions to the drivers’ challenges.

Mamabolo said his department recognised the important role played by the e-hailing industry in the transport sector.

He called on affected parties to give the mediation process a chance.

“We applaud all parties for agreeing to participate in this process. We look forward to a fruitful mediation process where all parties will cooperate to ensure successful resolution to all issues.

“The department values GEPCO as an important stakeholder in the e-hailing industry and encourages all public transport stakeholders and partners to work with them,” Mamabolo said in a statement.

Violence and disruptions

The MEC said he hoped the mediation talks would instill a culture of negotiations in the public transport sector and spare the public incidences of violence and disruptions.

“These discussions are crucial to our Smart Mobility vision of integrating all modes of public transport to provide an efficient, safe, reliable and sustainable transport system in the province,” Mamabolo said.

“Successful integration of all public transport systems requires us to work together to find innovative ways to resolve issues and minimise violence in the sector.

“It is through negotiations that we can achieve that, and we are hopeful the mediation process will be successful,” he added.

NOW READ: E-hailing drivers plan national shutdown