South African Uber drivers received a one-time cash bonus this weekend – but not as much as their US counterparts

Business Insider SA

  • More than a million Uber drivers across the world received a cash payout this weekend as a "driver appreciation reward" ahead of the company's listing in the US. 
  • Uber drivers received one of six different cash rewards based on the number of trips they've completed.
  • In the US, the maximum amount was more than R570,000 - for drivers who completed 40,000 trips.
  • While Uber South Africa does not want to comment, Uber drivers say the maximum amount received in South Africa was R47,000.
  • Most drivers only received a fraction of that amount, though.
  • Visit Business Insider SA for more stories. 

Uber drivers across the world each received a cash payment this weekend ahead of the ride-hailing giant's listing on Wall Street.

The company announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing published on Friday that it would pay around $300 million (R4.4 billion) to its more than 1.1 million drivers worldwide. The payments were made around April 27.

"To acknowledge drivers who have participated in our success, we are paying a one-time cash driver appreciation reward to qualifying drivers in jurisdictions where we operate through owned operations," Uber said in the filing.

Uber South Africa did not want to comment on how much South African drivers received, referring Business Insider SA to the SEC filing. The document only contains specific information about the US payments.

Uber drivers in the US received one of six different cash rewards based on the number of trips they've completed.

Drivers received $100 (R1,400) if they completed 2,500 trips by April 7th this year, up to $40,000 (R572,000) for 40,000 trips. 

"The amount of the driver appreciation reward paid to qualifying drivers outside of the United States will be based on the same trip criteria, but may be adjusted on a region-by-region basis to account for differences in average hourly earnings by region," according to the filing.

Read: Uber drivers earn far less per trip than Taxify drivers in SA - here’s how they compare

To qualify for the reward, drivers must have completed at least 2,500 Uber trips, including one this year as of April 7, and their account must be in good standing. 

According to South African Uber drivers Business Insider South Africa spoke to, the maximum amount earned in South Africa was R47,000. This was for drivers who have completed more than 40,000 trips and had a rating of 4.75 and higher, according to those BI spoke to, including one Uber partner, who managed a number of vehicles and drivers.

Drivers with fewer than 10,000 trips only received R470. Those with between 10,000 trips and 20,000 trips received R4,700, and the sliding scale continued from there.  

Uber plans to raise more than $10.3 billion in its initial public offering, potentially giving it a market capitalisation of $90 billion (R1.3 trillion).

Read: Uber is going public at a $90 billion valuation - which is a quarter of SA's total economy

The ride-hailing giant will offer 180 million shares at a price between $44 and $50 per share.

According to the SEC filing, drivers in the US will also be entitled to buy shares at the IPO price. The programme will allow drivers to own up to 3% of the company if they take up the shares. Drivers in South Africa are not part of this offer, however.

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