COVID-19 - A Letter From Shameel
A message from Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom.
Dear South Africa,
Many of you are facing new challenges as the country puts measures in place to limit the spread of CoronaVirus (COVID-19). It will take a huge collective effort to help government and society cope with this situation so we wanted to inform you of the measures that Vodacom is putting in place to keep you confidently connected at this unprecedented time.
We are making sure that our network can handle the additional demand so that people and businesses can work seamlessly from home and that we continue to deliver world-class connectivity to critical national infrastructure, government departments, businesses - both big and small - and our 44 million customers. The data, voice and connectivity services that we offer means that customers can stay connected while also reducing social contact.
Over the past weeks, we have robustly tested our business continuity plans against the most trying possible scenarios and have a dedicated COVID-19 team working to maintain the level of service you expect from us. So far we have not experienced significant device and / or hardware supply shortages but are putting further measures in place to avoid disruptions and are working closely with our suppliers and partners. Our day-to-day operations will continue and should not be affected during this period.
Other steps that we have taken include:
- Our Employees
As our employees are central to everything we do at Vodacom, we will continue to make their health and safety a priority and have increased the ability for Vodacom employees to work remotely without disruption. We have given advice to staff and contractors to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 and put hygiene protocols in place at our places of work. We have asked all employees to conduct external meetings remotely, where possible, using our smart technologies. All of our employees also have full access to employee well-being services during these challenging times.
- Vodacom Shops
At retail outlets, we are taking all the necessary health and safety precautions. This includes providing hand sanitisers, ramping up deep cleaning services and clearly displaying notices of health and sanitation protocols.
- Online Services
If you prefer to limit physical contact, you can find all our business and consumer products and services on our website Vodacom.co.za or on our MyVodacom App. Rest assured that our courier partners are compliant with the strict sanitation measures we have put in place.
- Cashless Payment Services
Instead of using cash or physically swiping bank cards to make payments for services, we encourage the use of Vodapay, our mobile phone payments app, or similar apps. Vodapay is available for download in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Vodacom Express Recharge is another safe and convenient way of buying airtime and data with your debit or credit card, just dial *135*02# and follow the easy step-by-step prompts.
- Education & Free services
Vodacom’s e-School platform is already used by almost 900 000 learners. We have now significantly increased server capacity to ensure that more users can enjoy a seamless experience. E-School is free for all Vodacom subscribers and carries content in all 11 official languages from Grade R to 12. Content includes assignments, quizzes and learning videos that are fully aligned with the CAPS curriculum. The service is accessible via mobile devices, tablets, laptops and desktops. Students using e-School will be able to complete homework questions, revise some of the work they have already done at school, browse past exam papers, get tips and advice on how to improve their marks, download subject material and watch content-related videos. E-School can be accessed through our ConnectU portal on connectu.vodacom.co.za and will assist learners and students while they are on extended leave.
ConnectU will also provide: free access to job portals, free access to Facebook Flex, access to two free SMS’s per day to customers, further discounted bundle offers to pre-paid customers in areas where the majority of people living beneath the food poverty line, zero-rated access to select government sites, a full zero-rated internet search function powered by Wikipedia and free access to other essential information such as local and international news headlines, trends and the weather.
Through ConnectU, Vodacom will continue to provide its zero-rated and premium Mum and Baby maternal health and education services to pregnant women and caregivers. This service assists women and caregivers to avoid long queues to access services and provides advice on pregnancy and childcare through SMS, educational articles, tutorials, videos and other tools.
In partnership with the Department of Health, we are providing SMS awareness messaging to over 44 million subscribers on hygiene etiquette.
We will continue to do all we can to support you and the country through this challenging time. Success will depend on citizens taking collective responsibility for preventing the spread of this virus. We are all in this together, so we urge South Africans to follow government and health service advice and to take care of themselves and their families.
Please look out for regular updates on all our social media platforms and website: vodacom.co.za
Stay Safe, Stay Alert and Take Care.