Collaborating with Uber to accelerate economic opportunities

The obvious synergy between recruitment agency, Lulaway, and ride hailing service, Uber, is set to accelerate economic opportunities in the country.

The two organisations have joined forces to create South Africa’s maiden recruitment and training centre in Cape Town’s Century City, which is dedicated to registering and training Uber’s driver-partner applicants.

“With South Africa’s unemployment rate at 26.7 percent and some experts projecting it will reach 27 percent later in the year, we need to come up with smart solutions to provide opportunities for jobless South Africans. Initiatives such as the Uber-Lulaway partnership, where two innovative companies use cutting-edge technology to drive socio-economic growth, is one way of addressing the challenge,” says Executive Chairman of Lulaway, Andile Mkhosana.

Moving away from the convention of potential drivers having to register on Uber’s website or app to become driver-partners, Lulaway handles the registration process and recruitment of the drivers. This process simplifies linking the driver and vehicle owners or Uber partners. It also provides the driver-partners with world-class work-readiness training, part of Lulaway’s mandate to implement an outcomes-based, high-impact workforce development programme over the next three years in collaboration with the City of Cape Town.

“We have streamlined the process for drivers to apply to become Uber driver-partners. Our applicant system is a sophisticated and tech-driven way to register and track applicants in the entry-level sector.”

“At the centre, our staff assist all applicants to register via our online secure portal and upload the necessary documentation. They complete basic online Lulaway assessments and then go through work-readiness training to help them be successful once they start work. The application process is now centralised and standardised, meaning the highest levels of data accuracy and efficiency are applied,” explains Mkhosana.

He adds that there is a great demand from existing Uber driver-partners, and Lulaway will be linking the vehicle owners and existing Uber driver-partners.

“Our database has over 300,000 pre-screened candidates listed. This means finding drivers is easy for us and we can recruit drivers when necessary. We provide the missing link between the driver and the partner and accelerate linking economic opportunities and small business seekers. Our positioning means that finding a driver doesn’t have to be a laborious, time-consuming endeavour. We provide a detailed CV with all the documentation so a partner can decide if the driver is right for them.”

This training centre, although currently only based in Cape Town, aims to help grow the country’s existing 12 000 driver-partners.

“Partnerships between government, the private sector and youth employment organisations such as Lulaway can drive job creation for South Africans and build a shared vision in which unemployment is truly eradicated,” says Mkhosana.

Alon Lits, General Manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa explains, “We are excited about this partnership as drivers are the core of our business, and everyone deserves a fair chance to participate in our economy, and through partnerships like these we know it will be made possible.”

Uber does not employ the partner-drivers, but through using the Uber App, it connects people who provide transportation services with others who need rides. The drivers who use the Uber app are totally free to choose if, when and where they accept rider requests. They are not obligated to work a required number of hours or shifts.

“Uber plays a pivotal role in job creation in a country where unemployment is a national crisis, and this synergy is a perfect example of what is possible through collaborations of this kind.  Combining the forces of Uber and Lulaway, we hope to accelerate the impact we are making. We see this as a pilot project, and the model can be taken nationally once its benefits have been quantified,” says Mkhosana.


Lulaway team members at the Uber centre