11/08/2017 07:02 SAST | Updated 11/08/2017 07:03 SAST

Uber Drivers To Decide Whether Or Not To Accept Cash Trips

South African drivers fear for their safety after months of threats and attacks.

Aaron Tam / AFP via Getty Images
Uber's office in Hong Kong.

Uber users may soon not have the option of choosing how to pay for their trips, Uber said this week. According to, Uber is introducing a new pilot feature that will let drivers decide how they want to be paid, including whether or not they will accept cash trips.

Uber reportedly said this followed feedback from its drivers, which it calls driver-partners, that they wanted to be able to choose the kinds of trips they would accept.

"This feedback came from their focus groups, comments at partner appreciation events and recent safety working groups. Uber has taken heed of this request and says the new cash indicator pilot will address their needs," the company reportedly said.

South African Uber drivers have faced serious security concerns in the past few months, including attacks by metred cab drivers and passengers. Recently, an Uber driver was attacked with acid during a trip.

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela told News24 that the man was responding to an Uber request at Waterval Estate in Northcliff, Johannesburg.

"When he arrived at Waterval, the man poured acid on his face and threw him out of the car. The man [the assailant] sped off [in his own car]" Makhubela said.

A spokesperson for ER24, which responded to the incident, Werner Vermaak, reportedly found the driver on the side of the road. The man reportedly had severe burns on his face and hands.

According to the man, he arrived at his drop-off location and was assaulted by his passenger and [a] liquid substance was thrown on to him," Vermaak said.

Uber said they were working closely with the police and deeply upset by the incident. A spokesperson, Samantha Allenberg, said:

"We're investigating the incident and have reached out to the partner's family to check on his wellbeing and offer our support. We stand ready to help the police with any information needed for their investigation."