KENYA, SA AFRICA’S MOST LUCRATIVE MARKETS
Data from Uber shows that South Africa and Kenya are its most lucrative markets in Africa, the
reports. South Africa ranks first, with 969,000 active riders, while Kenya has 363,000 active users. Both countries have experienced violent protests against Uber, mostly by taxi drivers, who accuse it of unfair competition. The company launched its operations on the continent four years ago. The data, which was released by the company on Thursday, shows there are 12,000 and 5,000 Uber drivers in South Africa and Kenya, respectively. Uganda and Tanzania have 48,000 and 53,000 active riders respectively, with each country signing-up 1,000 drivers. Ghana and Nigeria have 140,000 and 267,000 active riders respectively, with about 7,000 drivers using the Uber app in Nigeria while Ghana has 3,000. The data shows that there are 1.8 million active Uber users in Africa. Uber’s general manager for subsaharan Africa, Alon Lits, said the service has allowed people to have flexible working hours: “Drivers love being as flexible as they like; earning what they want, when they want to supplement their income.”
and additional $0.6 per re when it debuted in y 2015. drivers are charged a 25 nt commission on every charge that has remained t despite the price cuts company over time. Uber he charge is “a global d” that is used to “cater keting costs.” r needs to market to riders t drivers can continue trips. This cost comes Uber’s service fee from re,” said Uber East Africa erson Janet Kemboi. other players, including ab who entered the market latively lower rates, have rced to cut them further. anuary this year, Taxify fares by 15 per cent to mum fare of $2.2, with base rate; a $0.04 percharge; and an additional r kilometre.
to make some money, the a majority of whom have the cars or are servicing oans, work all day and can make $45 a day; pay owner $20; and fuel the bout $12-$15, leaving you or $6 after a day’s work,” niel, a Taxify driver. n, an Uber fleet manager, has struggled to meet the he agreed with his leasees nt months as his business the brunt of the price ition. gs are tough. I know of ues who have had their Business Daily cars seized by banks because they could not repay their loans,” he said.
An Uber driver is required to remit $20 to repay the car loan and use $16 on fuel. Then there are other costs like the insurance cover and vehicle servicing.
In Uganda, contracted drivers started facing challenges barely five months after Uber launched in Kampala last year. Uber was offering drivers incentives that saw them earn between $57.1 and $100 a week, but stiff competition from the traditional taxi operators and boda bodas (motorcycles) drove some drivers away.
In the first four months, Uber drivers were making about $4 per hour, but this has gone down to $1. Uber charges $0.37 as the base fare, plus $0.26 for every kilometre, and $0.06 for every minute spent on the road. Then there us the 25 per cent commission.
The operators have also to pay for parking, averaging $5.7, and $12-$15 in tax to the Kampala Capital City Authority every month.
In South Africa, the “Uber wars” of 2017 have evoked memories of the “taxi wars” that began in the late apartheid era, where turf wars were fought between taxi associations and minibus taxi drivers. During that period, hundreds of people were killed as rival cartels went to war to defend their market share.
When Uber arrived in South Africa in 2013, things changed dramatically. Today, metered taxi drivers are arguing that Uber drivers are stealing their business. But many of Uber’s new clientele claim they have long avoided metered taxis on the grounds that they are expensive and unsafe.
As the demand for Uber grew, more and more drivers registered. Along with South African drivers are many Zimbabweans fleeing the collapse of their country’s economy. They are often not eligible for other forms of employment, but many meet Uber’s background checks, car and driving checks, and so can earn a living as drivers in South Africa’s urban centres. This has only turned Uber into a flashpoint for tensions over employment and wages.
Uber drivers protesting the cut in fares speak to motorists on Nairobi streets in March this year.