As the people of South Africa rally in the face of COVID-19 to keep themselves and their businesses healthy, at ride-hailing service Bolt, we have worked hard and fast to provide solutions that not only aid in flattening the curve but enable people to get around, businesses to operate, and micro-entrepreneurs to maintain their livelihoods.
Since ride-hailing is considered necessary for people to access essential goods and services – as published in the lockdown regulations – registered drivers are assured of their ability to earn an income by using our platform.
Meanwhile, we remain committed to expanding our offerings during this time to help essential services workers and businesses.
In our latest innovation, Bolt has launched an Isolated Cars category, offering passengers the freedom to choose a vehicle that is fitted with a physical barrier between the front and back seats, limiting the risks of exposure and providing an additional method of protection for those who need it.
The Bolt Isolated Cars category is already available in Johannesburg and will be rolled out to Cape Town over the coming days. Passengers can hail a Bolt Isolated Car by choosing the option from the menu of ride types that are available on the app.
With businesses in mind, Bolt also recently launched Bolt Business Delivery, helping essential services businesses like grocery stores and veterinary practices to have their products delivered by a trusted resource that is operating within the confines of the South African Government’s lockdown regulations.
Vehicles registered on the platform are appropriately equipped and drivers are specially trained to offer safe rides and efficient deliveries.
Bolt continues to communicate with drivers and passengers using the platform and encourages them to follow health protocols at all times. Government has mandated that every ride-hailing driver should disinfect vehicles between trips, and Bolt is providing sanitisation services and products at driver centres across the country.
Bolt is proactively working on even more solutions to assist and enable residents of South Africa to look after themselves, their families and their businesses during this time.
We welcome the opportunity to work with other entrepreneurial, problem-solving companies that are passionate about building a South Africa that will survive this crisis, and thrive in the new normal that we will encounter once COVID-19 has been quelled.
Together, we certainly can achieve even more in response to President Ramaphosa’s call of ‘Thuma Mina’, reiterated in his first COVID-19 address.
- Gareth Taylor is the country manager for Bolt in South Africa