Throughout the COVID-19, Uber has been looking to add new services to its Rides and Eats platforms with less commuters available due to lockdown. One such service was Uber Connect, which announced alongside Direct in April, but was never rolled out in South Africa.

That changes today, however, as Uber Connect is now available to local users via the regular Uber app. This new service will allow users to send packages, depending on whether item is not prohibited of course, to others in selected cities of the country.

More specifically Uber Connect will be available in the regions that Uber Eats is – namely Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

“This feature provides a cost-effective, on-demand delivery solution for family and friends. While restrictions continue to ease in level 2 of the nationwide lockdown, social distancing is still imperative – Uber Connect aims to keep users connected while encouraging social distancing,” explains a press release regarding the announcement.

“We have been working tirelessly to find innovative ways to leverage our technology to make it easier than ever to send packages or items while unlocking additional earning opportunities for drivers on our platform,” adds Frans Hiemstra, GM for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Before you start planning a home move on Uber Connect, it looks as if the service is limited to smaller packages. This as the service makes use of drivers on motorbike, which of course places limitations on the dimensions and weight of the package being delivered.

The steps for accessing the service is as follows:

  1. “Select Connect in the Uber app, agree to the terms and conditions, confirm that your package does not contain prohibited items, and request a delivery.
  2. Reply to the message you’ll receive in the Uber app asking for the recipient’s name and any special delivery instructions for your delivery partner.
  3. Meet the delivery partner outside and load your package into their motorbike top box
  4. Share the trip with your recipient so they can track the trip and meet the delivery partner outside to retrieve the package from the delivery partner.
  5. This service is limited to areas where Uber Eats operates.”

As has been the case throughout lockdown, Uber South Africa is emphasising health and safety, with the necessary precautions needing to be adhered to for this newly added service.

“Safety remains a top priority and Uber Connect follows all relevant hygiene and safety protocols. These include the requirement of masks for all drivers, as well as the completion of a safety checklist which reminds drivers to wash their hands and sanitise their relevant delivery bags. Senders and recipients will also need to follow a checklist to ensure social distancing measures are followed,” the press release concludes.

[Image – Photo by Brandable Box on Unsplash]