As part of Uber’s commitment towards safety, the company has initiated a Safety Sessions Programme in collaboration with South African Police Service (SAPS) to help address the safety concerns raised by drivers and delivery people on the Uber platform. During these sessions, held in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town over the past several months; SAPS officials were brought together with drivers on the platform to better understand the realities on the ground and how best to partner to assist in improving the safety of all.
“We believe that e-hailing drivers should have regular engagements with SAPS officials in their respective communities. Uber has embarked on this journey with the broader society in mind because we trust that through such partnerships, we are able to contribute to the safety and security for all,” says Ofentse Mokwena, Head of Strategic Projects, for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa.
While the Uber platform offers safety features for all its users, from an in-app emergency button and GPS tracking, through these safety discussions it has become clear that there is a need for practical demonstrations – such as how to report cases, who to contact and what to do in an emergency situation. This is why Uber has led these engagements with stakeholders to find common ground for the benefit of users as well as the broader community.
Captain Selepe of SAPS adds, “We welcome the working relationship that the SAPS has with drivers and Uber, as we believe that collaborations such as these will help alleviate some of the safety issues we are currently seeing in this sector and in the communities where they are reported.”
Uber wants to give drivers, who are independent contractors, the opportunity to continue expanding on their earning potential stress-free and believes in partnership policing, which serves more than just the users of the Uber platform.
Commitment to safety is reaping promising rewards
Women empowerment continues to be another focus for Uber. According to Uber’s latest insights, where over 1000 e-hailing users in South Africa were surveyed, women feel empowered to travel on their own when taking a trip requested via the Uber app. According to the participants surveyed:
- 85% of women who use Uber say that they believe that the Uber App has made commuting safer for them.
- 71% of women who use Uber say that Uber has empowered them and helped them achieve their potential.
- While 84% of women who use Uber say that Uber has made the impossible possible now that they feel that they can commute more freely and more safely.
Always-on safety dialogues
This Safety Sessions Programme follows on from the safety roundtable discussion hosted by Uber in March, which brought together safety experts to look at how the industry can tackle safety in the industry. The role of technology in protecting and supporting communities is vital. Therefore, Uber will continue fuelling conversations that forge collaborative solutions for growth in their communities.