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Uber and Bolt drivers strike in South Africa over costs

Drivers under contract with Uber Technologies Inc., Bolt Technology OU and other ride-sharing services in South Africa have gone on strike to protest record petrol prices and have pressured the government to it adopts industry regulations to protect their rights.

The national strike will continue for three days from Monday, said Vhatuka Mbelengwa, spokesman for the drivers. A meeting held on Sunday with government officials failed to prevent industrial action, and talks between them over new rules are ongoing.

As drivers complain their income has been eroded, Uber said it has raised the price of its rides to help offset their costs.

“Our goal is to maintain a holistic view of inflationary pressures to ensure the platform remains economically viable for drivers,” Uber’s head of mobility operations for sub-Saharan Africa, Kagiso Khaole, said in a statement. E-mail. “With that in mind, we have increased the prices.”

Bolt said it raised its fares by up to 20% this month and sought to balance the needs of drivers with the affordability of its services for passengers. The company respected the drivers’ right to strike and urged them to do so legally and peacefully, while respecting the rights of those who continued to operate, said Gareth Taylor, regional director for Bolt in the Southern Development Community. -African from 16 nations, in an email response to questions.

China’s Didi Global Inc., which also offers ride-sharing services in South Africa, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

© 2022 Bloomberg