Services of e-hailing taxi company, Bolt, came to a standstill in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro as drivers embarked on a motorcade protest over a number of grievances against the company.
The drivers gathered outside the New Brighton Police Station in Port Elizabeth. They want Bolt to reduce the 28% commission the company charges per trip.
They say they are not making any profit as they are working fewer hours due to the curfew.
Spokesperson for the Eastern Cape E-hailing Association, Khaya Liwa says, “You understand that there’s a curfew that limits us when it comes to the times. So, we can’t work fully. As we are sitting now, we can’t make any money because now Bolt has introduced a cheaper version, Bolt Go. Bolt Go is R20 per trip, which is almost nothing. Because we were used to 15% when they started the company. They moved from 15 to 20, from 20 to 25 … (and now) they are sitting now on 28.5%, which is killing us totally.”
The drivers also want the e-hailing service to install a safety feature on its App as they have become victims of robberies, especially in the New Brighton area.
Bolt driver Wezo Matikinca says, “When we go to the police station to report a case of being robbed for example in New Brighton. New Brighton is the core place that robs Bolt on a daily basis – and they don’t have an identification where riders can show this is the rider that will be engaging with you in this trip, so (that) if anything happens you can get back to the rider. Number 2, we don’t even have a feature where we can text to the rider. The rider can only text us. We have to use our own airtime.”
Bolt has not responded to the email sent to the company.