Last year Uber Eats in South Africa announced its food delivery app had been downloaded half a million times and was being downloaded at the rate of approximately once every minute.
Over the last few years food delivery apps have revolutionised the takeaway industry across the globe and in South Africa have created tens of thousands of casual work opportunities for mostly immigrant, African workers.
People like the convenience of scrolling through these apps and choosing food to be delivered at not a lot of extra cost.— Kimon de Greef, Freelance journalist
But in his recent Ground Up article 'Immigrant food couriers risk death on South African roads', journalist Kimon de Greef explores the dangers attached to working as a scooter driver for apps like Uber Eats and Mr D.
Often they're working in terrible conditions, using unsafe bikes, many of the drivers don't have adequate safety gear or proper training.— Kimon de Greef, Freelance journalist
When it's cold and raining these guys are tearing around delivering food and getting in accidents a lot of the time.— Kimon de Greef, Freelance journalist
Once raised this issue with @Uber_RSA. See exchange below. Glad you covered it. Doesn’t look like the food delivery companies themselves will be looking into this beyond the responses such as the one I got. I get the sense that they are absolving themselves of any responsibility. pic.twitter.com/i7DhEXB4KZ— Not a Single K In Sight_NASKIS (@BonoloPD) July 3, 2019
At least six drivers have died on the job in Cape Town since 2017, dozens more have been injured.
De Greef says the dangers facing scooter drivers are 'almost entirely invisible to customers'.
To find out more, listen to the full interview below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : The truth about the human cost of mobile food delivery services