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Bolt Kenya suspends its 5% booking fee


Bolt Kenya now says it has suspended the 5% booking fee included in the riders’ fare. In a statement seen by TechTrends, the ride-hailing fee said it had suspended the fee pending clarification with the National Transport and Regulatory Authority (NTSA) around the interpretation of the regulation on this particular matter.

Bolt had come under attack from NTSA over the illegal booking fees. The regulator had even declined to renew Bolt’s license over this as well as other alleged breaches, including illegal commission charges. 

In the statement shared on Monday by Linda Ndungu, Bolt Country Manager, the firm says its commission structure strictly adheres to the stipulated regulatory requirement of capping at 18%.

‘’We want to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to operating within the bounds of the law, ensuring that our operations fully align with the legal framework. We remain committed to collaborating closely with the regulator to ensure a successful outcome.’’ the statement reads. 

Bolt also says its operations are ongoing and uninterrupted, and its existing licence remains legally valid. 

‘’According to Section 32(4) of the NTSA Act, we are permitted to continue operating until the licence application process is officially determined. The NTSA Act states that “If on the date of the expiration of a licence…proceedings are pending before the Authority on an application by the licensee for the grant to him of a new licence, the existing licence shall continue in force until the application is determined…” the statement further reads.

It adds that the licence renewal process is currently in progress with constant engagement and collaboration with the National Transport and Safety Authority, and it is expected to be finalised by Monday, October 30, 2023 as per a letter by NTSA to Bolt. 

‘’We want to reassure all customers on our platform that our services are still accessible nationwide, and we are committed to providing drivers with earning opportunities and affordable services to everyone,’’ Bolt says.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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