WATCH | 'If I lose my job, I lose my whole life': Covid-19 pushes Uber drivers into dodgy deals and extra jobs

26 May 2020 - 07:00
By Deepa Kesa

Uber drivers have taken a massive hit from Covid-19. The ride-hailing company has laid off 3,700 full-time employees around the world.

Uber will now concentrate on its core businesses of ride-hailing and food delivery and cut 23% of its workforce in an attempt to become profitable despite the pandemic, chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi said in an e-mail to employees.

Before the lockdown, Uber promised to become profitable by the end of this year. It recently extended that timeline to 2021 as lockdowns pummelled its ride-hailing business, which generates the bulk of its revenue.

With millions staying home, trips dropped 80% globally in April.

As part of the latest changes, Uber will also reduce investments in several non-core projects and plans to close or consolidate some 45 offices globally.

South African Uber drivers, including Fana Mbaso, have been forced to take other jobs, such as driving for Uber Eats, to make a living.

Some drivers have started taking private "offline" trips because they are desperate to earn.