File photo: Pixabay

Durban - Uber turns five this year. And it’s a whopper for the company as they celebrate five stars and their five big contributions on the continent. Since their first venture into Africa in Johannesburg in September 2013, Uber launched in another twelve cities across five Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.

Not only has Uber added new places but they localised their offerings. From uberBODA (motorised bike) in Kampala to paying for a uberCHAPCHAP via M-Pesa in Nairobi to offering uberPOA in Dar es Salaam, and providing uberASSIST to senior citizens and those with access needs in South Africa.  Uber is determined to launch and tailor new services such as these to meet the needs of the local market and to provide an alternative to car ownership to more than 1.3M riders across Sub-Saharan African.

And not to forget, the average time of arrival across SSA is 5 minutes, this is quicker than grabbing a meal at a fast food drive-through. Uber has also traveled 1,478,812,041km in SSA which is 59,000K times the perimeter of Africa - amazingly just one rider has contributed to this figure as he has done 6 000 requested trips on his account, he is an inspiration to us all!

Since launch, Uber has attracted over 36 000 driver-partners, many of which say they were previously unemployed. As Uber celebrates five historic years in SSA, it’s taken Matthew, a driver-partner in Cape Town,  just over three years to take riders on over 30 000 trips and counting across Cape Town. In these short years, Matthew has seen it all and still wants more!

Most importantly, drivers across the continent are excited about what Uber has to offer. For example, Uber drivers and Eats delivery-partners in South Africa have enjoyed access to an improved safety feature: a mobile emergency app. This app is powered by Aura’s cutting-edge security technology. Corresponding directly to this, Uber is the first e-hailing service in South Africa to provide injury protection for both riders and drivers. Importantly, this is extended to Uber Eats delivery-partners.

General Manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits, said it all started with the tap of a button, and has led to so much more.

“From exploring new cities together, getting you to that big moment on time and to thousands of economic opportunities created. We are excited to be celebrating our five years by looking at how far we have come - it has been an incredible journey and we cannot wait to explore it further with you,” Lits said.  

Complementing Uber Rides, Uber Eats has been helping deliver South Africa’s and Kenya’s (Nairobi) favourite foods to the nation’s customers. This on-demand meal delivery app powered by Uber is likely to grow exponentially across SA and SSA changing how people enjoy their leisure time.    

“We’re really excited to be celebrating five years, five stars and our biggest five contributions. We are inspired by the continents rapidly developing infrastructure and spirit of entrepreneurship and we look forward to continue to provide people across SSA a flexible choice to move around the city safely, reliably and affordably,” Lits said.

 Daily News