2023 recap: Top South African e-hailing customer took 1,958 trips, travelled 5,546km

The top customer of South African e-hailing platform Bolt completed 1,958 trips and traveled over 5,000km using the app in 2023. File picture.

The top customer of South African e-hailing platform Bolt completed 1,958 trips and traveled over 5,000km using the app in 2023. File picture.

Published Jan 19, 2024


The most frequent South African user of Bolt, the e-hailing platform, recorded a staggering 1,958 trips and travelled 5,546 kilometres in 2023, according to company statistics.

Bolt also revealed that in 2023, 11am was the most popular time to order a ride, as 62,932,276 finished orders were recorded during this hour.

As far as destinations go, the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Gauteng is the most sought after location among its South African users.

The Estonian founded transport company marked ten years in business in 2023, and have also made a number of changes to its platform to advance driver and rider safety.

“This year, our 150M+ customers helped us take another step towards our mission to make transport more accessible.

“By choosing shared mobility options like ride-hailing, car-sharing and micro mobility, we replaced more and more use cases for private cars and provided a reliable mode of transport for the many people that have come to depend on our service,” African PR Manager for Bolt Sandra Buyole said.

Despite the many platform advancements made over the course of their time in South Africa, the Bolt and other e-hailing platforms have faced resistance from those in other transport sectors, particularly the taxi industry.

Taxi operators believe that the e-hailing sector is stealing their business but public transport users say it is their decision to make and not those in the taxi industry, IOL previously reported.

Bolt drivers have also faced numerous attacks and in some extreme cases, killed or had their cars destroyed.

The most notable incident of 2023 was the Maponya Mall where at least three cars were burnt and two people shot and injured.

One e-hailing driver died from his injuries.

Gauteng provincial spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Mavela Masondo said no arrests were made.

There were numerous calls from those in the e-hailing sector for law enforcement to clamp down on those acting with no regard for the law.

But while resistance forces and e-hailing drivers battle for meagre profit, the lives of South Africans remain at risk.

Twenty-eight-year-old Thabiso Molokomme, an e-hailing driver from Pretoria, told the Sunday Independent he was concerned about his safety after the incident at Maponya Mall, Soweto.

“We are not allowed to pick up or drop off clients from the Bosman, Gautrain station, or anywhere near the Manhattan hotel. This is unfair because we, like them, are trying to make a living.

“We are always on high alert, but the Soweto incident raised more alarms. We are not safe, and nothing is being done by those in higher powers to assist us,” he said.

Meanwhile, peace talks between industry leaders took place to try and find common ground amid the violence.

A meeting at Kliptown Police Station with the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and South African e-hailing Association (SAEHA).

“This is not the first time we had the emergence of disruption and not the first time a short-term plan has been put into place. What we need to do now is to ensure a permanent and sustainable solution that would be beneficial for everyone involved,” SAEHA spokesperson Vathuka Mbelengwa was quoted saying.