There’s plenty wrong with Uber: it is unresponsive to complaints, its drivers are unhappy, its founding CEO (who has only now stepped down under considerable shareholder pressure) appears to have unsavoury habits, its corporate culture has attracted unfavourable attention. That’s a long enough list without adding the complaints from competitors in the licensed taxi industry. However, from a South African urban perspective, all this pales into insignificance in the presence of a single overwhelming benefit: now that we have Uber, it is so easy to enjoy a night out on the town and to get home without risking lives on the roads. No one with an elevated blood alcohol level and a smartphone has any excuse for being behind the wheel of a car. Not so long ago, returning from a dinner or function after consuming real volumes of alcohol required forward planning or strategic thinking.Of course, it was possible to make arrangements — either ahead of time, by using various driving services, wh...

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