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E-hailing app Didi comes to Cape Town

Cape Town e-hailing mask passenger DiDi Uber Bolt driving COVID-19
Unsplash/Charles Deluvio

E-hailing app DiDi is rolling out its service to Cape Town residents over the next few weeks.

The Chinese company announced the rollout on 31 March. It follows a pilot launch of the app earlier this year.

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“The pandemic has had a huge impact in South Africa and has rapidly changed our lives,” said DiDi’s General Manager for Africa, Lyn Ma.

“As such, we decided to launch the DiDi platform in the country and offer a necessary, high-quality tool to mobilise recovery and reconstruction.”

Cape Town, South Africa signs up for DiDi

DiDi was first launched on 1 March with a pilot run in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). A new entry in the local e-hailing industry, it will take on the likes of Uber and Bolt.

Since then, more than 20 000 local users have signed up with the service, the company says. Meanwhile, over 2 000 drivers have downloaded the app.

Drivers who download the app and get activated prior to the launch are eligible for a zero percent commission rate during their first four weeks.

The app has several features to ensure passengers’ safety. They include facial recognition for drivers, SOS buttons linked to local law enforcement, and a dedicated safety hotline. Drivers who partner with the app also receive safety training.

“Our platform creates better income opportunities for drivers and safer and more affordable mobility alternatives for the people of Cape Town, and hopefully the rest of South Africa very soon,” Ma said.

Didi is available in 14 countries outside of China. In February 2020, it launched a $10 million relief fund to support its drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also introduced Health Guard features to ensure app users are kept safe during trips.

The DiDi rider app is available on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Feature image: Unsplash/Charles Deluvio

Read more: Cape Town launches second charging station for electric vehicles

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