Bolt is taking on Uber in South Africa

Bolt is looking to grow its presence in South Africa, increase its number of trips per user, and launch Bolt Food this year.

This is according to Bolt country manager Gareth Taylor, who was speaking to CNBC Africa about the company’s plans in 2020.

Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, launched in South Africa in April 2016 with operations in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, and Durban.

The company quickly gained traction in the local market, which saw it launch in Port Elizabeth in 2017, Polokwane, Pietermaritzburg and East London in 2018, and 22 new areas in 2019.

Ensuring safety for drivers and riders

Taylor said Bolt is working hard to ensure that both its drivers and riders enjoy safe trips across South Africa.

He said with a lot of cash trips, especially at night, their drivers are at risk of criminals who may target them.

He said the company put measures in place to make Bolt a safe service, including partnerships with the SAPS and Namola, a priority safety team and a support line.

While these measures are effective, Taylor said they are always looking to do more to improve safety.

South Africa a key focus for Bolt

Taylor said Bolt’s focus is on Europe and Africa. It currently has operations in 150 cities globally, of which 75 is in South Africa.

More than half of Bolt’s operations in Africa are in South Africa, which clearly shows that the country is a key market for the company.

He said they are planning strong growth in South Africa, with great business opportunities for new drivers.

South Africans can also look forward to Bolt Food being launched in major centres within the next few months.

Now read: Uber vs Bolt – South African pricing

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Bolt is taking on Uber in South Africa