Technology encouraging the sharing economy

Technology is essential to the growing concept of sharing economy, to enable scale and enhance economic impact.

A number of sharing platforms have emerged which enable individuals to share goods and services like cars, houses, household products and services. The spread of mobile devices has allowed a digital revolution to serve as a catalyst of growth and has led to the rise of companies like Airbnb and Uber. In South Africa the transport sector has been highlighted by the government as a key contributor to South Africa’s competitiveness in global markets.

Transport is the heartbeat of South Africa’s economic growth and social development, and Locomute, a car sharing start-up that was launched in June 2015, is proving how technology is enabling new business transport businesses. The Locomute service is targeted at users who need the use of a car for short trips or one-way trips, and there is also a short-term rental option of up to three months.

Users access the service through an app which allows them to reserve a car, locate the nearest one and to also unlock the vehicle. Cars can be accessed in public areas including shopping malls, street parking and filling stations. At the end of the trip, users lock the vehicle using the app. The big draw of the service is unlike standard rental services: the user only pays for the length of time they use the car for, and fuel, insurance and parking are all included in the cost.

The sharing economy, or collaborative consumption, has made waves in recent years in the US and parts of Europe, and car sharing, in particular, has shown great signs in impacting the lives of many as well as economies of various countries. Locomute is pioneering micro-rental and car sharing in South Africa by using technology in delivering its services. It also aims to cement the car sharing concept in South Africa by teaching South Africans about the sharing economy, especially shared mobility.

To read more on Locomute visit