03/07/2018. Uber drivers march from Rietondale to their offices in Waterglen to hand over a memorandum of grievances. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
03/07/2018. Uber drivers march from Rietondale to their offices in Waterglen to hand over a memorandum of grievances. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

e-hailing service drivers ’benefit’ from hijackings

By Velani Ludidi Time of article published Sep 11, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Some e-hailing drivers are benefiting from hijackings.

This is according to Nyanga CPF chairperson Dumisani Qwebe. The Weekend Argus reported last week that trucks and e-hailing services are targeted by criminals in some areas in Cape Town.

Qwebe said while on patrol with police in Philippi’s crime-stricken Marikana informal settlement, they noticed an e-hailing driver dropping a customer. “We have in the past, together with the station commander, asked drivers of the service to first pass to the police station before going into some areas. This was ignored by many and they continue going into these dangerous areas.”

E-hailing drivers are accused of purposely driving into crime hot spots. HENK KRUGER African News Agency (ANA)

“The driver told us that if he gets hijacked, he will be paid a lump sum. He was not bothered and he did not tell us which e-hailing service was he from.”

Qwebe said he does not believe all drivers would risk their lives for a payout but said it was concerning that a driver would boldly declare such.

“Nyanga is a high crime spot area and the recent statistics revealed that most hijackings happen here. In most hijackings, drivers are not killed. They get their belongings stolen and maybe the car too.”

A driver who introduced himself only as Peter said what the CPF was saying was not all truth.

“Look, all the e-hailing services take out insurance for drivers in case something happens to them. I have heard stories about drivers doing that (going to hot-spot areas on purpose) but it is not all of us. It is too much of a risk because you can be killed during the hijacking.”

The driver also claimed that drivers who are doing this do not own the vehicle they are driving.

The Weekend Argus reached out to the top three e-hailing services, Uber, Bolt and DiDi. They all confirmed that they take insurance for their drivers which covers them on trips. The services were not aware that there are drivers who could be defrauding them. They also confirmed that one person can own a fleet of cars and hire drivers.

“As part of our commitment to safety, we have partnered with AIG Insurance to provide drivers, riders and delivery people with protection under this programme. The Partner Injury Protection is there to assist with emergency medical treatment expenses and other costs. They are covered from the moment they accept a trip or delivery request while driving to pick up a rider or on the way to a restaurant, and until the trip ends,” said Uber spokesperson.

Uber also partnered with Road Cover, which will provide Uber users with free legal assistance and representation for claims submitted to the Road Accident Fund.

Gareth Taylor, regional manager for Bolt in Southern Africa, said they offer Bolt Trip Protection which is a no-cost, value-added insurance product that covers drivers and passengers in the case of an accident or unexpected incident from the time a driver accepts a trip, through to when the trip ends.

“Underwritten by Oaksure Financial Services, Bolt Trip Protection includes cover up to R50 000 for unexpected injuries, emergency medical expenses, hospital stays, and trauma counselling for up to six weeks after the incident. It also has the extra benefits of cover for loss of personal belongings up to R2500, as determined by the rules of the policy, cover for permanent disability caused by an accident up to R50 000, as determined by the rules of the policy, and cover for accidental death up to R50 000, as determined by the rules of the policy.”

Carina Smith-Allin of DiDi said in the unfortunate circumstance of a hijacking or other safety incidents, DiDi has insurance that enables it to provide further support to drivers and riders on a case by case basis.

“DiDi applies a multifaceted safety strategy which includes leveraging safety preventative measures to designated areas where trips should not be possible due to safety considerations. Purposeful risky behaviour to defraud the support that DiDi provides will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.”

Weekend Argus

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