How Uber South Africa screens its drivers

Uber has assured South African customers that its drivers undergo a screening process before their profile is activated on the service.

This includes a criminal background check, said Uber.

The company’s statement follows an attack on a couple in August, after they allegedly got into an Uber taxi after leaving the Movida nightclub in Sunninghill.

Shortly after departing, two men hiding in the boot pushed the back seats forward and got into the front of the car – attacking the couple and forcing them to draw money from an ATM.

The SAPS stated that the attack involved an Uber vehicle with two suspects, one of which was a former Uber employee.

“Prior to this individual’s deactivation and arrest, he held a valid Professional Driver’s Permit and he cleared all background checks – there was no evidence of a prior criminal record,” said Uber.

Uber said it is working with the police on an investigation into the attack.

Uber background checks

Uber states on its website that drivers who wish to join the service must meet a set of requirements – which includes background checks and a driving evaluation.

Drivers wanting to join Uber must:

  • Produce a valid South African PrDP (professional driving permit).
  • Complete a background check with an approved agency, which includes checking for a criminal record.
  • Complete a driving evaluation with an approved agency to ensure the driver can safely and professionally transport passengers.
  • Complete an Uber certification session, which includes a test administered by Uber.

A vehicle insurance policy, vehicle operating card and registration certificate, and a vehicle inspection report must also be submitted.

Uber said individuals with a criminal record older than 10 years may apply to the Department of Justice to have their record expunged.

If the criminal record is expunged, Uber will partner with the driver.

Vehicle requirements

Uber’s website states that the following vehicles may be used by drivers:

  • Uber X (2013 onward): Toyota Corolla, VW Jetta, Honda Ballade, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Cerato/Rio, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Sentra/Almera, Renault Fluence, Mazda 3/6.
  • UberVan (2012 onward): Hyundai H1, Mercedes Benz Vito, VW Transporter.
  • UberBlack (2013 onward): Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and above, Lexus sedan.

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How Uber South Africa screens its drivers