How Bolt will beat Uber in South Africa

Bolt is the fastest-growing ride-hailing platform in the world and plans to take the top spot away from Uber in South Africa.

This is according to Gareth Taylor, Bolt country manager for South Africa.

Speaking to MyBroadband, Taylor said Bolt– formerly known as Taxify – has run an aggressive local expansion in the past 12 months. This saw the company double its footprint in South Africa during the period.

“We are now available in up to 34 secondary towns and cities across all nine provinces,” said Taylor.

While the majority of its growth has come from Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban – Rustenburg saw the highest percentage growth over the past 12-18 months.

“East London, Polokwane, Pietermaritzburg, and Mbombela follow closely behind,” said Taylor.

“In 2019, Bolt saw a 60% increase in driver registrations and had over two-million riders sign up to the platform,” he added.

MyBroadband conducted a test of both Uber and Bolt in 2019, which can be viewed here.

In it, the price of an Uber ride versus the same trip on Bolt for five trips – including routes in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town – were examined.

Taking on Uber

Taylor stated that Bolt plans to become the number one ride-hailing service in South Africa.

The reasons Bolt will reach its target “sooner rather than later”, according to Taylor, are:

  • South Africa is one of Bolt’s top markets globally.
  • Bolt is the leading ride-hailing app in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Bolt is available in more South African towns and cities than any other ride-hailing services.
  • It plans to be available in over 40 cities by the end of 2020.

“As I understand, none of the other ride-hailing platforms service more than seven cities,” said Taylor.

Bolt Food

Another play which the company is set to undertake soon is a Bolt-branded food delivery service.

Called Bolt Food, Taylor said the pilot will launch in the Cape Town CBD within the next three months.

“Our aim is to use the pilot programme to gather consumer and user – eaters, couriers, restaurants – feedback.”

“Once we have sufficient feedback, Bolt Food will scale further into Cape Town and other main regions in South Africa.”

Bolt Food will compete against the likes of Mr Delivery and Uber Eats, both of which are established players in the market.

They offer a wide range of restaurants to choose from and deliver to many areas in South African cities.

Gareth Taylor
Gareth Taylor – Bolt

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How Bolt will beat Uber in South Africa