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Uber South Africa institutes limited operating times amidst lockdown specifically for essential travel

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Multinational ride-hailing company, Uber South Africa, has informed customers about its limited operating hours, aimed at accommodating essential services workers, in compliance with the 21-day national lockdown regulations.

In a Twitter post on Monday, 30 March 2020, Uber South Africa stated, “Uber will be available daily within restricted hours from 05:00 to 09:00 and 16:00 to 20:00 for essential travel only. The health and safety of our community comes first, and we will do our best to support riders and drivers during these unprecedented times.”

The announcement has been met with reservations and complaints, with one user lamenting that the operating hours do not allow him to attend to his essential needs. Niel Swart stated, “Pity my doctors do not operate during these hours. So going for medical assistance or even food is not possible. What if I wanted to go collect SASSA money?” Despite the number of complaints, Uber has assured customers that the time allocations have been stipulated by the government, making it imperative for them to adhere to the guidelines.

In an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Uber has held all drivers accountable for the cleanliness of their cars and themselves. The company has advised drivers to have hand sanitizers and cleaning equipment, further instructing them to thoroughly clean their vehicles after each trip.

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Sayushka Naidoo
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