The South African operation of the Uber ride-hailing service says it is reducing fares by 20 percent and will compensate any drivers who lose earnings because of the new policy.

Uber spokeswoman Samantha Allenberg said Friday that a "small number" of drivers in Cape Town were unaware of the compensation guarantee and were not using the Uber app to pick up customers.

Allenberg says the company is seeking to reassure drivers about the guarantee.

Uber says the price drop for rides in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban is a response to upcoming South Africa winter weather, when there are fewer customers. It expects business to increase because of the price fall.

South African media have quoted some Uber drivers as saying they are worried lower fares will reduce their income.