Uber Eats drivers in South Africa plan to embark on a nationwide strike on Friday, January 22 over delivery fee cuts that are drastically reducing their earnings.

Drivers will remain offline on Friday, and pickets are planned outside big food outlets. A group will also protest outside the Sandton Uber office, reports BusinessTech.

The drivers are demanding an increase in the pick-up fee from R10 to R20, and for R6 per kilometre driven after the first two kilometres, instead of the current R4.

According to Duane Bernard, a representative from the Uber Driver Partners Association, Uber lowered its delivery fees from 30% per delivery to a capped fee of about R9 per meal, following pressure from restaurants. This has caused many drivers to lose out on earnings.

The drivers have already raised their concerns with the company but have been met with little action.

“We sent them our grievances and they did call for an immediate meeting with drivers in Gauteng, which lasted two weeks and they said they were going to work on the concerns in the next couple of weeks. That was about three weeks ago.”

Bernard says they have many grievances with the company, including that Uber has dropped the driver-partners rates by almost 50% over the last few years.

“The fact that they are using labour brokers to hire drivers and the drivers need to pay these labour brokers a fee. They’ve closed down their Uber Eats offices, so you don’t deal with anyone here, you deal with them via email or the driver’s app.”

This is not the first time drivers have taken a stance against Uber. In December, drivers went on strike after accusing the company of low pay and poor working conditions. Deliveries in Gauteng were brought to a standstill for two days.

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