Come outside, Uber: SA's new DiDi Drive ride-hailing app to rival local mobility platforms

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A taxi driver is using Didi Dacha App while driving on the way
A taxi driver is using Didi Dacha App while driving on the way
Zhang Peng / Contributor

The DiDi app launched on 1 March 2021.

The service is also available in 14 other countries.

It delivers a range of safety features that includes facial recognition for drivers, SOS buttons for riders and drivers linked to the local police.

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DiDi, the world's leading mobility platform, has started its registration process for drivers in Cape Town, South Africa, and will begin offering ride-hailing services in the province over the next few weeks.

This new expansion follows a successful pilot launch in Gqeberha, South Africa, on 1 March 2021. Since then, more than 2 000 drivers have already downloaded the app, enabling more than 20 000 local residents to get to where they need to be.

Beneficial factors

The app focuses on providing high-level resources, safe and flexible entrepreneurship opportunities for driver-partners, and reliable mobility options for the public. In a country like South Africa, where unemployment rates and safety are major concerns, this platform is not only needed but highly valuable.


Do you think DiDi will become more prominent than the likes of Uber in the future? Please email us, or leave a comment in the section below.

"The pandemic has had a huge impact in South Africa and has rapidly changed our lives. As such, we decided to launch the DiDi platform in the country and offer a necessary, high-quality tool to mobilise recovery and reconstruction. Our platform creates better income opportunities for drivers and safer and more affordable mobility alternatives for the people of Cape Town, and hopefully the rest of South Africa very soon," said Lyn Ma, DiDi's General Manager for Africa.

READ | Millennials drive for 8% fewer trips than older generations

The DiDi app delivers a range of safety features that benefit both users and driving partners, including facial recognition for drivers, SOS buttons for riders and drivers linked to the local police, 24/7 support via a dedicated safety hotline, preview information for riders and drivers, and safety training for drivers, among others.

Since February 2020, DiDi's anti-COVID experience has created strong and positive results in addressing local challenges by:

• Introducing Health-Guard technologies to ensure that masks are worn during trips and that all vehicles are disinfected.

• Providing financial assistance to driver-partners in overseas markets through a dedicated US$10-million relief fund

Beyond investments in these special programs, the company remains dedicated to protecting the health and safety of its users and providing safe, affordable and convenient services. 

The launch and expansion in South Africa marks another milestone for the company's fast-growing network of international markets, which now includes 14 countries outside of China, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Russia, the Dominican Republic, and Argentina. 

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