Uber South Africa has faced a lot of heat over the past few months, with controversy surrounding the operating licences of their partner drivers and the disruption to the metered taxi market.
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The online ride-hailing service has been criticised for operating without following the laws regulating the metered taxi industry in South Africa.
Uber General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa Alon Lits says that the partner drivers will continue to provide their service with pending operating licences.
If we had to wait for the permits to be issued, we'd be waiting on this backlog which really doesn't seem to be going anywhere and is standing in the way of job creation.
Lits insitst that Uber is not a metered taxi company but, rather, a technology company.
Uber is a smartphone application that connects riders to licensed drivers in the cities where we operate. It is no different to someone using a landline or a cellphone to call a taxi. We just make it more efficient using the application.— Alon Lits, Uber General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa
Lits answers all questions regarding the controversial services' fee structure, driver payment plan, management practices, regulation and more.
According to Uber the driver application and screening process is as follows:
• Drivers require a Professional Drivers Permit (PDP): This is a Professional Driver’s Permit that licenses a Professional Driver to operate legally in South Africa. Uber requires a local, South African, PrDPa and no Foreign Drivers Permits are accepted.
• Background Check Result: Uber runs a Background Check when a partner-driver first joins. This result will take 6-8 weeks to obtain from date of Background Check. No driver police clearance documentation is be accepted until Uber receives this documentation, obtained from the AFIS Security database.
• Operator Card: The Operator Card (Double Disc) is obtained from the Licensing Department.
• Vehicle Certificate of Registration: The Vehicle Certificate of Registration is used to verify the year of first registration of your vehicle.
• Commercial Insurance and Passenger Liability: Uber requires all partners to have comprehensive, commercial insurance, with passenger and third party liability of R5 million per annum.
• Receipt of Application for Operating License: This can be obtained from the Department of Transport.
• In order to qualify they need to be medically fit, can never have had their drivers’ license revoked and;
• Drivers also need to undergo a vehicle inspection, comprehensive background checks through the AFIS Switch System and training on the application.
@RediTlhabi will the Uber business model not reach saturation.What is the way forward once all thousands of drivers have registered— Lesego Ramatlhape (@lesegoRAMA) July 13, 2015
@RediTlhabi This guy basically just said Uber won't wait for permits from government. How arrogant— #LH44-4xWDC (@daz_inc_) July 13, 2015
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This article first appeared on 702 : Uber SA sets the record straight on their business model and other concerns