Members of the Botswana Kombi and Taxi Association have called for the ride-hailing platform inDrive to be banned.
On the 26th of September, the Department of Road Transport and Safety (DRTS) received a petition from the Taxi Association claiming that inDrive is operating without the necessary licenses.
The petitioners (Kombis and taxis in Botswana) pay operating fees to the DRTS and they are aggrieved that inDrive has sidestepped those fees as most of its drivers use their own cars. The use of private cars exempts drivers from the mandates of DRTS that call for these fees. The taxi association argues that inDrive operators should be subject to the same regulations.
To protect its interest, inDrive has responded to calls for its banning in Botswana following complaints by local public transport unions.
Vincent Lilane, the company’s business development rep for Southern Africa claims that “The Ministry of Transport in Botswana currently does not have a specific registration requirement for companies operating under this particular mobility category. However, once such regulations are established, inDrive is fully committed to complying with all registration and operational standards.”
Lilane added that although inDrive has not received formal notice of the complaint from the DRTS, it is in talks with the relevant stakeholders to address the complaints.
inDrive started its operations in Botswana in December 2019 and has proven to become popular amongst drivers and commuters. It currently remains the only ride-hailing platform available in the country.
Its selling point is the fact that inDrive drivers are not subject to commission charges for rides while commuters on the other hand now have an alternative to expensive and unreliable public transportation.