Home-grown e-hailing platform BozaRide launches in South Africa
South Africa’s latest home-grown e-hailing platform BozaRide, launched yesterday in Sandton, Johannesburg, promising to flip the South African market, which is dominated by global brands Uber and Bolt.
The South African e-hailing industry is highly competitive and has seen some platforms exit the market just a few months after launch.
NextNow, local e-hailing platform, and Chinese-based multinational ride-hailing company DiDi Chuxin are some of the victims of the fierce competition, which pundits say favours the dominant international e-hailing companies.
Nonetheless, BozaRide has started rolling out in Gauteng and will later expand to other cities/towns across the country.
BozaRide, which is currently on a recruitment drive, says its safety features and pricing model set it apart from the competition and will ensure ‘fair compensation’ for drivers.
Ncamiso Mathebula, managing director, BozaRide, comments: “What sets us apart from international competitors is that we are a locally developed platform and thus understand the needs of the local user. Our services and innovations resonate with both drivers and riders and cater for different needs when it comes to safety, convenience and affordability.”
On safety concerns, BozaRide says its app uses a facial biometric verification system to avoid registration of multiple accounts by the same users and unauthorised uses of the app.
The app has a mandatory one-time pin functionality for all trips, zone risk feature (to alert drivers when driving in high risk areas), and another functionality to disclose the number of riders upon requesting.
“Some of the biggest challenges faced by the e-hailing industry in South Africa are regulatory issues, safety concerns for both drivers and riders, development of a sustainable business model and low profitability for drivers. At BozaRide, we identified these challenges and we aim to address them. We look to collaborate with professionals and relevant organisations who share our values,” says Mathebula.
BozaRide unveiled fourvehicle classes (Pick up, Comfort, Lux and XL), which are currently availableon the app, saying they ‘compliment everyday life’.
Flubert Taga, technical director, BozaRide, comments: “The four vehicle classes were selected with the user in mind. Our goal is to provide all riders with an alternative to vehicles for their daily needs.
“Additionally, for the first time in the South African e-hailing market, BozaRide willintroduce an exclusive feature for minor riders, which is called Boza Kids. With this functionality, parents and guardians will be allowed to request and recommend previous drivers for their kids on the app.”
Another differentiator, according to BozaRide, is its treatment of drivers as partners and not contractors.
The company says it wants to bring drivers closer and involve them in key areas of operations that affect the business and industry, such as the pricing model, safety and promotional tactics.
“We also offer a mandatory skills training and development programme to empower drivers. This is aimed at regulating and formalising the industry and ensuring that drivers are operating at a professional level. The training includes customer service, conflict management and etiquette training,” Taga says.
The driver’s app is now available to download on Apple Store, Google Play Store and App Gallery.