After much speculation about which African city would be next, Uber, the smartphone app that connects passengers with taxis, has said it will start testing its technology in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
Port Elizabeth is the ninth city in Africa to launch after Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Lagos, Cairo, Nairobi and Casablanca – a list that might be a proxy for Africa’s coolest, or at least best connected, cities.
A statement from Uber said Port Elizabeth was chosen due to its population size (1.1 million) and because “people in PE are willing to embrace innovation and technology and in particular love products that are cool, exclusive and offer a new experience”. The statement added that 10,000 people in PE had already signed up to the platform that has so many cool Big City Cats leaving their cars at home and “ubering” around.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO Mandlakazi Skefile welcomed the move with this comment, which might seem almost pedestrian to would-be Uber ‘riders’ in the ‘Windy City’ who can barely contain their excitement: “Not only will the service make the destination more attractive and accessible to visitors, but has the potential to increase employment opportunities adding to economic growth for our destination.”
So who is going to be next? Bloemfontein? Brazzaville? Bapsfontein? – African News Agency (ANA)