Egypt’s capital Cairo has this year surpassed South Africa’s business hub Johannesburg as being internet ride-sharing service Uber’s biggest and busiest African city.
This is according to Uber’s head of operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa – Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty
Gore-Coty told Fin24 that Cairo has overtaken Johannesburg in the last few months amid Uber’s explosive growth in Egypt.
South Africa’s biggest city Johannesburg – which is home to over 4 million people according to Statistics South Africa data – was first to get the Uber service in Africa in 2013.
Johannesburg remains a key hub for Uber as the South African city ranks among Uber’s top five out of 115 cities in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region
Meanwhile, Uber launched in Cairo in November 2014. After Lagos, Cairo is regarded as Africa’s second most populous city with more than 19 million inhabitants in its greater metropolitan area, according to World Bank data.
Demand for Uber in Cairo, subsequently, has surged. Cairo now has over 30 000 driver partners, according to recent statements from the company. Across Africa there are over 60 000 driver-partners, according to Uber.
In South Africa alone, Uber operates in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Data released by Uber earlier this year revealed that the service has grown to have over 4 000 partner drivers across South Africa.
Factors that have buoyed demand for Uber in Africa include fast-growing cities that suffer with congested traffic, the job opportunities that the service offers and rising car-ownership levels
Uber’s rise in Africa, though, hasn’t been without its challenges.In July this year, 302 Uber cars were impounded between January and June 2016 because drivers did not have metered taxi permits.
For the period January to November 2015, 255 Uber cars were impounded by Cape Town traffic police amid the absence of metered taxi permits. Uber has previously said it is committed to working with regulators to find a route to licensing in South Africa.