InDrive accelerates focus on female drivers

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 27 May 2024
Vincent Lilane, business development representative at inDrive Southern Africa.
Vincent Lilane, business development representative at inDrive Southern Africa.

InDrive South Africa is looking to add more female drivers, as the e-hailing platform strengthens its focus on supporting female participation in e-hailing and create more entrepreneurship opportunities.

The Uber and Bolt rival, which established its South African operations in 2019, says it aims to empower women on the platform by increasing the number of female drivers from 1% to 5% in the next few years.

SA’s unemployment rate climbed to 32.9% in Q1 2024, with women and youth remaining the most vulnerable, according to Stats SA. The unemployment rate among youth aged 15 to 34 is 45.5%, it says.

“Only 1% of drivers using our local platform are female. Recognising the need for diversity, we are aiming to increase this figure in the next few years,” notes Vincent Lilane, business development representative at inDrive Southern Africa.

“To achieve this, we will collaborate closely with women from local communities, encouraging them to join as drivers. We are also planning various initiatives to promote the platform as a means for women with drivers’ licences to earn an income.”

According to Lilane, more women joining the e-hailing app will help improve safety − an element which forms part of the company’s broader mission to tackle social injustice and eradicate crime in the field.

Bolt and Uber have women-only categories as part of their offerings, which allow riders to request vehicles only from women drivers.

InDrive operates in 749 cities in 46 countries. It is active in nine South African cities: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Gqeberha, East London, Pietermaritzburg, Rustenburg and Polokwane.

It does not offer standard rates for rides, but operates on a peer-to-peer pricing principle, which allows passengers and drivers to directly negotiate a fare. This ensures terms are as transparent and fair as possible, it states.

Lilane explains that the app allows people to work flexibly, scheduling their shifts according to their preferences.

“Joining the inDrive platform allows driver-partners to choose the jobs/rides that suit them; they’re not penalised for refusing rides. If you’re a student working to finance your studies; a parent needing flexible hours; or someone wanting to supplement their primary job with additional income, you can work around these commitments. So, a driver can select rides according to the price offered, the route, and a passenger’s previous ratings and reviews.”

When it comes to supporting women entrepreneurs, inDrive launched the Aurora Tech Award to recognise and empower women founders of successful start-ups, encouraging more females to enter the field.

“Our commitment to gender diversity and safety marks a significant step towards a more inclusive ride-hailing landscape. By amplifying opportunities for women drivers, the company not only enhances economic empowerment, but also elevates safety standards,” Lelani comments.

InDrive previously announced it was recognised as the second most downloaded ride-hailing app for the second consecutive year, with over 200 million downloads to date.

Those interested in applying to become a driver on the app can visit the company website.