The past few months have no doubt devastated many households across South Africa. As lockdown measures were enforced, the economy came to a standstill, meaning independent workers such as Uber drivers and couriers were impacted as cities were forced to stop moving. Mindful of their role to make a change, Uber teamed up with Afrika Tikkun, a non-profit organisation supporting underprivileged communities, to provide drivers and couriers with a one-time food eCoupon to purchase much-needed essentials at their closest Boxer Superstores.
Uber driver, Thulani Shabalala, a married father of three from Spruitview says, “The impact of the lockdown was terrible in ways that I never anticipated. I was making far less than what I normally make and my biggest concern was how I was going to look after my family. I gave the voucher to my wife to purchase all the needed groceries while I continued driving. My wife said the store made the process really easy and time-efficient. I am grateful to Uber for this kind gesture as it really helped keep my family going during this time of need.”
The care initiative ran for two weeks and ended officially on 12 June 2020. The initiative was positively received by drivers and couriers with an overall 83% redemption rate (88% for couriers and 83% for drivers), meaning thousands of drivers managed to purchase food for their families
Kenneth Jere, an Uber Eats courier from Johannesburg who supports seven people says, “When I found out about the eCoupon, I did not waste time and headed straight to Boxer to purchase the groceries. Words cannot explain how this kind gesture has really assisted me and has taken a huge load off my shoulders.”
Nkosinathi Sibanda, 24-year-old Uber Eats courier from Orange Groove says, “Thank you, you’ve helped me a lot! The COVID-19 situation is bad and my brother who lives with us is unemployed as well so it was a relief to get these vouchers.”
With humanitarian activities such as these, companies are able to demonstrate their commitment to their community now and beyond during this difficult time.
“When the lockdown first started I relied heavily on my savings. I am a married father of two and I am immensely grateful for this gesture as I was able to provide for my family. I was really not expecting this” explains Ronald Manoko, an Uber driver from Tembisa.
Ensuring the wider community is also supported, Afrika Tikkun is utilizing Uber’s latest solution, Uber Direct, to help facilitate food packages to those members in our communities most severely affected by job loss and the absence of work. To date, through Uber Direct they have provided relief to 66 640 people across South Africa.