Uber arrives in PE

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Uber will start testing its ride-hailing service in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
Uber will start testing its ride-hailing service in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

Ride-hailing service Uber has spreads its wings to Port Elizabeth (PE) with the company announcing that it will start testing its technology in the Eastern Cape city on Thursday this week.

"After months' worth of speculation, we are so excited to be launching in Port Elizabeth with our uberX product," says Alon Lits, Uber's general manager for sub-Saharan Africa.

"This new service means that you can now enjoy a seamless, efficient ride at an extremely affordable price. The introduction of our service will change the way residents of PE go about their daily lives."

PE is the ninth city in Africa to launch after Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Lagos, Cairo, Nairobi and Casablanca.

According to Uber, PE was chosen as the next city due to its population size (1.1 million) and because people in the city are willing to embrace innovation and in particular "love products that are cool, exclusive and offer a new experience". There has been 10 000 sign-ups to the platform already, Uber says.

Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO, Mandlakazi Skefile, says Uber's presence in PE will not only make the city a more attractive and accessible destination to visitors but has the potential to increase employment and boost economic growth.

Uber says since launching in August 2013, it has enabled over 4 000 work opportunities across SA and could enable another 15 000 in the next two years.

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