E-hailing drivers go on strike in S.Africa over losses

JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- E-hailing drivers from Bolt on Monday went on a protest accusing the company of exploiting drivers.

Bolt drivers in Gauteng, Western Cape and Free State took part in the action. A group of drivers blocked some roads in Johannesburg and protested outside Bolt offices.

Spokeperson for e-hailing operators Vhatuka Mbelengwa said drivers wanted the e-hailing industry to be regulated to root out exploitation of drivers. He said drivers were operating at a loss due to the fact that they had no control over pricing.

Xinhua spoke to some drivers who said some newly introduced feature on the Bolt app had resulted in lower prices.

"We are not making enough money to pay the installments of the cars we use to transport people. We can't support our families," said a 38 year-old Johannesburg-based Bolt driver who did not want to be named.

Another driver who spoke on condition of anonymity said some drivers who chose to operate their vehicles despite the protest were being intimidated today.

"They are being attacked and the money (cash) they have made today is also being violently taken from them, we are fearing for our lives," he said.

Bolt said it was aware of drivers plan to protest on Monday, saying drivers had a right to embark on a strike.

"Bolt respects every drivers right to protest and appeals to drivers to do so legally and peacefully," it said in a statement to drivers.

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