A teenager from Nyanga is blazing a trail with her new e-hailing service operated for women and by women. The Women GoApp was created in response to the country’s recent wave of gender-based violence (GBV).
Founder Asiphe Mkhefa (18) is a Grade 12 learner at Vista High School. She explains to eNCA that she understands from experience that women do not feel safe using public transport, and thus need a better solution.
“I figured that I need to create a society where women can actually feel safe in their own taxi services, and that they won’t have any fear because I know from experience that when I get into a taxi full of men I get so scared,” said Mkhefa.
“The stories I read about women who were kidnapped while being driven home or a driver making uncomfortable remarks towards women passengers drove me to start this company.”
Congratulations Asiphe Mkhefa😍
— MakeEveryWomanCount (@MakeWomenCount) September 11, 2020
The app only employs women drivers and caters to women passengers. It is designed to make women feel more comfortable using e-hailing services and reduce incidents of GBV against women who use ride-sharing vehicles.
She began operating in August, allowing clients to request a ride via WhatsApp on 068 276 6645. The client simply needs to send their location and intended destination. The service charges R7 per kilometre and is only available in Cape Town, but Mkhefa plans to expand the service to other provinces. They are also in the process of developing an app.
While many support this amazing initiative, there has been some negative pushback. According to eNCA, the teen and her family have had to seek refuge after taxi operators threatened and harassed them.
This is not the only ride-hailing service of its kind. ChaufHer, a ride-hailing service for women and by women, will soon launch in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The service will connect female drivers to female passengers, thus empowering women and helping passengers feel more safe.
To use this service, passengers must download the ChaufHer app (soon to be available for iOs and Android devices), register, and ride.