Uber looks to enhance driver safety


Police in Cape Town have dispersed an illegal protest against the Uber cab hailing service on Wednesday, 14 July 2016.

JOHANNESBURG – Uber said it may consider innovative verification processes in the future.

This follows recent attacks on Uber drivers, which has resulted in loss of life. But Uber is adamant that certain of the attacks are not related to the company.

READ: Acid attack Uber driver speaks of ordeal

The General Manager of Uber South Africa, Jonathan Ayache, said there are criminal trends that are geared towards harming Uber drivers.

With the recent attack on driver Kgomotso Tiro being a cash trip payment, Uber said it would take into consideration calls for a picture verification process, which could have helped Tiro. He had acid thrown at him and was set alight.

Tiro blames Uber's cash system for making drivers vulnerable.

Uber said it listens to its drivers and has now introduced a system which allows them to turn down cash fares.

Ayache said, “Innovations such as the cash indicator are a result of that engagement and a way we’ve shown we have listened to driver partners and adapted the technology to help them feel safer. We will hopefully be introducing innovation around rider verification relatively soon."

READ: Police warn against lawlessness in ongoing meter driver violence

A suspect appeared in court today on charges of assault with grievous bodily harm. Police insist that the recent high rate of Uber attacks stems from the meter taxi conflict .

Gauteng police spokesperson, Lungelo Dlamini, said, “Previously it was a conflict between meter taxi drivers and Uber taxi drivers, but now we have established there are some known criminal activities that are taking place, and individual cases where people sometimes try to hijack or rob the drivers”

Uber said it would continue to engage with policy makers and the police to better safeguard those who use Uber.