uberReuters reports that Uber South Africa pledged to increase safety campaigns for food delivery drivers and review the insurance they provided following an expose about the mounting risks faced by drivers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The expose published earlier this month found a lack of training and safety equipment as rising numbers of mainly migrant drivers take to the roads to earn a living, with poorly advertised and often insufficient insurance cover. Figures obtained by the Thomson Reuters Foundation showed a 30% jump in road accidents involving food couriers in May and June last year as SA eased its lockdown and the numbers of drivers rose. But, drivers and analysts fear the number of logged accidents was just the tip of the iceberg as many drivers avoid reporting incidents due to their undocumented status in SA and concern of losing jobs. “As a business we prioritise the safety of everyone who uses our app and we work hard every day to be the best we can be, but there is always room for improvement,” said Samantha Fuller, spokeswoman for Uber in sub-Saharan Africa. “We will be running more education campaigns in May and June ... we will be looking at the engagement channels we use for this and how we can better make sure key information gets to our delivery-partners,” she advised. Although these campaigns were already planned, Uber confirmed that they would be increasing their frequency to ensure more drivers knew of the safety offerings available to them, such as emergency assistance and injury protection.

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