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Ride-hailing firm DiDi expands services to Gauteng

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 17 Aug 2021

Chinese-based ride-hailing service DiDi Chuxing (DiDi) today announced plans to finally launch its service in SA’s economic hub Gauteng come next week.

This follows launches in Cape Town and Gqeberha earlier this year.

In a statement, DiDi says it will launch in three cities in Gauteng, namely Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and Pretoria on 23 August.

It adds that there will be 0% service fee for four weeks for all drivers who sign-up and have their documents approved before launch.

Carina Smith-Allin, DiDi’s head of public relations and communications for Sub-Saharan Africa, says DiDi was launched in the country to offer a necessary, high-quality mobility resource to both riders and driver-partners.

“The platform promotes income opportunities for drivers, and in a country like ours, where unemployment rates and safety are major concerns, this is not only much-needed but highly valuable. DiDi offers the chance to start making great money independently with competitive service fees, localised support, and pioneering safety features.”

She adds: “We believe that mobility should be accessible to everyone safely and efficiently. By entering the market, DiDi provides access to convenient and accessible mobility and economic opportunities with safety, technology, and customer support underpinning everything we do. We put affordable fares, quick and reliable service and safety first. As such, more and more South Africans are reaping the rewards of mobility platforms like DiDi.”

Founded in 2012, DiDi is a Chinese vehicle-for-hire company headquartered in Beijing, with over 600 million users and tens of millions of drivers. It is available in 17 countries and five continents, with the most recent launches being SA, Ecuador, and Kazakhstan.

In SA, DiDi competes with the likes of Uber, Bolt, as well as newly-launched South African ride-hailing company NextNow.

According to DiDi, it prioritises safety of its drivers and riders.

Says Smith-Allin: “DiDi prides itself on its innovative safety features to benefit users and driving partners, some of which are a first in South Africa. Features include facial recognition for drivers, SOS buttons for riders and drivers linked to the local police, 24/7 support via a dedicated safety hotline, preview information for riders and drivers, and safety training for drivers, among others.”

The ride-hailing service encourages drivers looking to be partners of its community to sign up, saying they will join thousands of drivers who have already taken advantage of the entrepreneurial benefits of joining the ridesharing network.

Driver partners will be able to drive for DiDi from 23 August and earn up to R15 000 in referral bonuses for referring riders to DiDi, according to the statement.

Smith-Allin adds that DiDi understands the challenges communities and the transportation industry face with the evolution of urban mobility (rideshare). “As a result, we are committed to creating the freedom and convenience to go places, open up horizons and give South Africans access to new experiences and opportunities through our platform.”

She concludes: “With DiDi launching in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Ekurhuleni in the next week, the company plans to continue to strive towards providing South Africa with the safest and most affordable mobility service.”