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Thursday, August 11, 2022

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Joburg Uber drivers protest at Sandton offices, demanding fare increases after fuel price hike

Uber drivers picket outside the organisation's Sandton offices demanding the e-hailing company to increase fares due to fuel price hikes which have increased from just under R20 per litre in January, to over R26 per litre in July. Picture: Screenshot

Uber drivers picket outside the organisation's Sandton offices demanding the e-hailing company to increase fares due to fuel price hikes which have increased from just under R20 per litre in January, to over R26 per litre in July. Picture: Screenshot

Published Jul 14, 2022

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PRETORIA – A group of Uber drivers stormed the e-hailing companies offices in Sandton on Thursday, demanding fare increases after rising fuel prices in the country.

Uber drivers are complaining that the e-hailing company has not adjusted fares despite the cost of fuel rising from just under R20 per litre in January to over R26 per litre as of July.

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“What the drivers want is the prices to increase, because petrol is killing us. We aren’t making any profit. All the money is spent on petrol,” said one of the drivers who didn’t want to be named.

The driver said they submitted their grievances and were told to return on Friday, where Uber officials would meet with at least 20 nominated drivers.

“They said they want 20 people. The 20 people will go inside and be part of the discussions, the rest of the people will be showing their support from outside.”

Its unclear whether the protest was communicated among all drivers as some of the drivers were not aware of the protest.

E-hailing Operators spokesperson Vhatuka Mbelengwa said he was not aware of the strike. “If it’s a strike we are not aware or involved in it.”

In March, Uber increased base fares between R5 to R15 for all ride categories. This was after e-hailing drivers embarked on a three day strike over rocketing fuel increases.

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The demands made during Thursday's protest are still the same ones that were made in March.

Drivers complain that to date, Uber has not addressed driver concerns around pricing on the e-hailing platform and they complain of significantly reduced profits on the platform.

Drivers are calling on fare adjustments and for the e-hailing companies to reduce their commission in light of rising fuel costs.

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Despite a police van seen attending to the protesters, Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said they were not aware of the incident.

Drivers are expected to return to Uber’s offices on Friday.

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