Labour court overturns ruling that Uber drivers in South Africa are employees

The Labour Court has overturned a ruling from the CCMA which found that local Uber drivers are the employees of Uber South Africa.

Drivers who had their partner accounts with Uber deactivated ultimately wanted the protection of South Africa’s labour law to bring a case of unfair dismissal against Uber, stated an article in Rapport.

According to the report, the judge chastised the transport workers union Satawu for their inattentiveness and said it was a major factor that led to the ruling.

The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers has taken over representation of the Uber drivers who brought the case forward, and said it is weighing its options.


The Labour Court found that it was incorrect for the Uber drivers to make their claims against Uber SA, the local subsidiary of Dutch company Uber BV which owns and manages the app.

The drivers should have aimed their case at the international company, it stated.

Uber told the drivers as much when the case landed in front of the CCMA in 2016, added the report.

While the ruling was overturned on a technical point, the judge stated that given the history of the case, the technicality was not only material – but one which the drivers’ previous representatives knew.

The judge noted that the question of whether South African Uber drivers are employees of Uber remains unanswered.

The news follows problems for Uber in the UK, which forced the company to implement mandatory breaks for its drivers.

Now read: Uber implements mandatory breaks for UK drivers

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Labour court overturns ruling that Uber drivers in South Africa are employees