UberEats Will No Longer Deliver in Parts of Soweto Due to Safety Fears

UberEats Will No Longer Deliver in Parts of Soweto Due to Safety Fears

Following growing safety concerns and threats to its business and delivery drivers, food delivery service, UberEats has planned to stop serving some areas of Soweto, South Africa’s largest metropolis. South of Johannesburg’s Soweto will no longer receive deliveries from UberEats starting on September 5, the company’s South African branch announced on Thursday.

The regions that are impacted are Emdeni South, Mzimhlope, Zola, Peenyvile, Diepkloof Hostel, Dobsonville, Davelin, Pimville, Noordgesig, Dube Hostel, and Meadowlands Hostel.

As a business that prioritizes user safety on the platform, Charles Khumbo Mhango, head of operations for Uber Eats in South Africa, said, “We have engaged rigorously with delivery people through roundtables and surveys to better understand the realities they face on the ground when it comes to safety.”

In an interview with News24, UberEats South Africa’s head of operations, Charles Mhango, stated that the firm decided to stop deliveries in 11 “pockets” of Soweto, including Meadowlands Hostels, Zola, and several areas of Dobsonville, after consulting with the impacted courier partners.

“Based on these insights, we therefore had to make the tough decision to put a pause on these areas for delivery services by way of the UberEats App,” Mhango said.

Customers in the impacted locations still have the option to choose restaurant pick-up for their orders, and UberEats aims to review this choice later after consulting with relevant stakeholders such as merchants, partners, local government officials, and law enforcement officials.

Nkosinathi Zwane, a spokeswoman for the Gauteng e-Hailing Partners Council, commented on the decision made by UberEats, stating that drivers were confident that a regional platform might fill the void left by Uber Eats with arrangements that would be more advantageous for drivers.

According to Mhango, the UberEats does not intend to sacrifice the safety of workers, even as they want to make the most of their time on the road.

“Our commitment to delivery people is to continuously find ways of maximising their earning potential by helping them get the most of their time on the road, without compromising on their safety.

“We also understand that delivery people face unique challenges on the road, especially those on two wheels who are more vulnerable, so we have various safety features tailored to them available at the touch of a button,” Mhango said.

To assist with the costs connected with an injury while on the road, UberEats also collaborates with Partner Injury Protection offered by AIG Insurance.

In order to resume delivery in these locations, Mhango added, “we expect that safety interventions get put in the market and the environment may change.”