Why Uber worries conventional taxi operators.


I’m appalled! Hurt at the same time. Africans have come a long way from being deemed unreasonable and backward. We have fought so hard (and still need to) to accept change, cling to it like a like a tick on hide and never let go. 

We need to accept change (inevitable as it is) and accept the realities of living in a 21st century time that allows free movement of ideas, goods, services and people.  Gone are the days when we would fight change, no matter how it tends to help, and yell to the white man (European ways) to go back whence he came from and leave us in our cow hides, breast and ball dangling frenzy! Things will change and they have, so its easier to get on board than “toi toi” to have Uber regulated or removed.

We live in a society that has sirvived by adopting and making carbon copies of other cultures. A thin line separates the many differences we think we have. It is so easy to feel at home in a distant country, the societal texture is the same and Uber is part of the many businesses that have made us not drop our jaws at the sight of new inventions and start ups. We are at par with developed nations, something many other countries might not have the privilage of seeing in their lifetime. Uber is one of these.

We can relate. For it feels there is nothing special about your country that is not in ours, we might have copied it, but we have it too.

To block roads and chant slogans and demand Uber be removed is like asking a fellow neighbor not to venture into the taxi business because you fear for losses. The point is, Uber is just a platform and the owners are your brothers and sisters who also want a better life for themselves just like you do. “Adapt or die” said one tweet.

HOW THESE TWO CAN CO-EXIST!

It got me thinking, how best can the conventional taxis look at Uber’s and not want to pluck it out. If they can try these simple methods, they might just make it as they counterparts did.

  • Create a local version of Uber. I don’t know if ‘Taxify’ is South African but see what lacks in Uber and adopt one for the South African market.
  • Be pro-active. Instead of waiting on customers to come to you and your business, go out and look for ways that will make your service easily reachable.
  • Upgrade your fleet of cars to a modern one and ensure best service always.
  • Be user friendly. Ensure you use social platforms that can link you to a customer rather than the more expensive way of using a phone call to hull a cab.
  • Offer competitive pricing. Today, everybody wants to save, you have a good price, people will take it.
  • See Uber as an eye opener into a world of possibilities not your downfall.

    I am sure there are many ways that cab/taxi unions in South Africa can look at in the possible intent of making their business equally viable as Uber other than ‘toi toi-ng’ giving more credibility and exposure to their enemy.

    Over the past week when the demonstration was in effect, thousands went in favour of Uber and their services and put a dampener on the crying voices which largely went unheard and heavily criticised. There seems to be no one on the conventional taxi side other than the owners themselves, pity!

    Read more here.

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