New SA E-Hailing Startup Shesha Uses Local Insights to Challenge Uber and Bolt

Shesha, a new South African e-hailing service, is set to shake up the ride-sharing market dominated by global players like Uber and Bolt. Founded this year, Shesha is leveraging its deep understanding of local needs to offer a safer and more driver-friendly alternative.

Nomsa Mdhluli, Shesha’s spokesperson, explained it “became apparent that – not only from a customer perspective, where safety and an understanding of local needs was not necessarily high on the agenda of its competitors – but that drivers felt exploited and under-appreciated by what they saw as foreign companies that were not paying attention to their working conditions”.

Shesha is backed by major stakeholders including the Gauteng Taxi Industry Trust, Santaco Gauteng, and the Gauteng National Taxi Alliance. This support has given Shesha a unique perspective on local conditions and has helped broker a historic peace between the taxi and e-hailing industries, ending years of conflict over routes and passengers.

Currently, Shesha is onboarding over 13,000 drivers and has seen a phenomenal customer response in Gauteng. Mdhluli noted,“We’re only operating in Gauteng for now as our proving ground, but we do have expansion plans in future for other provinces. But as you will be aware launching a disruptive startup is not easy, especially when it is a “David vs Goliath” scenario and the landscape is dominated by giants,”

Shesha’s presence has already influenced the market, prompting one competitor to remove over 6,000 drivers deemed unsafe. Mdhluli confidently added, “These drivers would never have made it onto our platform in the first place!”

Operating on a traditional e-hailing model, Shesha offers competitive prices, aiming to provide a reliable and locally attuned alternative in the ride-hailing industry.

Hi, I’m Damife Isaac

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