Uber Connect
  • Uber Connect is launching in South Africa this week, in places where the Uber Eats service is available.
  • You can summon a motorbike to your address, put a parcel in the topbox, and send it off to a nearby address.
  • Uber first launched the service in the US in April, to meet demand for small, local deliveries pushed up by the coronavirus.
  • The minimum delivery price is R25.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

* This article has been updated below.

From this week, Uber will deliver packages over short distances in four cities in South Africa where its Uber Eats service is already available.

The parcel service is called Uber Connect, and first launched in the USA in April this year, when the company said it had noted "the importance of staying connected with loved ones or colleagues – albeit from a distance" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Uber Connect is intended to deliver small packages to family and friends, the company says, citing examples such as "siblings returning forgotten clothing items to each other or a mother sending nappies to a friend who has run out" in a blog post first spotted by MyBroadband.

But the only restrictions on packages is that they must:

  • weigh less than 15 kilograms
  • fit "comfortably" into the topbox of a motorbike.
  • be worth less than R1,500
  • must not contain dangerous items or drugs.

Importantly, "Uber does not maintain insurance coverage for package loss, damage, or theft," the company says.

Senders are required to seal their parcel in a box or bag, disinfect it, and load it into the topbox themselves.

To access the service, which Uber said would be available on 1 September, select "Uber Connect" as the vehicle choice in the main Uber app, rather than Uber X, Uber Black, or the other variants of service offered there. Then share the trip with the recipient, so they know when to collect.

Uber said the minimum delivery price will be R25, with a R10 booking fee and a charge of R5.45 per kilometre in the rollout phase. 

The service is available in parts of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

* This article was updated after publication to include details of delivery pricing.

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