Uber Eats has announced that it is now an essential goods provider, and starting today (6th April), South Africans will be able to order groceries and other essential items from the platform for delivery.

The firm also notes that deliveries will be carried out according to the hygiene measures outlined by government and the Department of Health.

“Traditional supermarket delivery services have become overwhelmed in recent weeks by panic buying, forcing customers to schedule orders several weeks in advance. Uber is not competing with those services directly but instead aims to help South Africans remain at home by delivering a smaller range of essential items safely within an hour of ordering via the app,” the company explained in a press release sent to Hypertext.

To that end, Uber Eats has listed the following guidelines, given its recent essential good provider status:

  • “Grocery and convenience stores, pharmacies (excluding scripts) and frozen meal options will be available for delivery with a minimum delivery fee of R25.
  • Hours will be limited to the operating hours of stores, between 9am – 5pm daily and Uber Eats will work around standard operating hours directed by the Government.
  • Expect deliveries within the hour by a delivery person using the Uber Eats application and relying on all health and safety guidelines shared by the Government. Delivery times might vary due to demand, please check the app for delivery times.”

“Partnering with essential service providers across South Africa, to help deliver everyday items via Uber Eats will allow people to stay at home and help flatten the curve of community spread. Safety is essential to Uber and it’s at the heart of everything we do – all deliveries requested through Uber Eats are contactless, meaning users can have deliveries left on their doorstep. We remain in close contact with the local public health authorities and stand ready to provide additional support as required,” adds Ailyssa Pretorius, Uber Eats GM.

The new steps involved with ordering essential goods is as follows:

  1. Finalise your order and review your basket.
  2. You can request no-contact delivery, meaning your delivery person will leave your order at the door. To do so, select the delivery option “Leave at the door” at checkout.
  3. Add instructions if you want to tell the delivery person where to drop off your order (e.g. “Drop my order in the lobby”).
  4. Once ready, tap place order. Uber Eats is promoting contactless transactions and will only accept payment by credit or debit card.
  5. Follow your order in the app. You’ll see the grocery or convenience store accept and start prepping. Then, when the order’s almost ready, a delivery person will go to the store to pick it up. Next, they’ll drive to you. You’ll be able to see their name and photo and track progress on a map.
  6. You also have the option to tip your delivery person who is working hard to get your items to you.
  7. Lastly, avoid contact when retrieving your order.

“Thank you to the healthcare workers who are saving lives and to all essential service workers helping us with our daily needs. Thank you to the drivers, delivery people and stores who are supporting them. And thank you to all South Africans who are doing their part by staying home. We are in this together,” concludes Pretorius.

The platform is also asking interested businesses wanting to get their essential goods to consumers, to apply to join the Uber Eats marketplace here.

[Image – Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash]