Hiemstra says part of Uber’s success in the market has been its ability to localise certain aspects of the experience for users. For example, while cars are the mainstay of the platform, in markets such as Kenya, alternative vehicle types with two and three wheels have been added in line with that country’s norms and popular modes of transport.
In SA, where unemployment tops 30% of the employable population, having shed close to 2-million jobs during the past two years alone, freelance or “gig economy” work in fields such as ride-hailing and food delivery have become a lifeline for many.
Hiemstra spends time talking about Uber’s relationship with drivers, shifting trends in the world of work and the effects of the gig economy. With safety being a major concern for those using the service, the discussion also focuses on this aspect for riders and drivers.
Topics of discussion include: the size and scope of Uber’s business in Africa; differences between the markets; the effect of inflationary pressure of the company’s pricing; the safety of drivers and riders; trends in the gig economy; the relationship with drivers; and competition in SA’s ride-sharing market.
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