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Home Telcos Vodacom’s zero-rated ConnectU portal empowers 34 million people

Vodacom’s zero-rated ConnectU portal empowers 34 million people

by Milcah Lukhanyu
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Vodacom’s zero-rated ConnectU platform, designed to provide South Africans with free access to information and life-changing online resources, has grown exponentially, with over 34 million unique users accessing the platform over the past two years. This equates to an average of 3.5 million new unique users’ month-on-month.

Boosting Education, Jobs, Social, Health, Safety & Security, Government, and Small, Medium, and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME) pillars, ConnectU is helping millions of South Africans, with Jobs, Health and Education ranking as the top three visited pillars for users.

“When we launched ConnectU two years ago, we wanted to provide an innovative digital solution that would allow Vodacom customers to access critical information and essential services online at no additional cost. Since then, the portal has gone from strength to strength, helping millions of South Africans overcome challenges that they are facing off the back of the pandemic and ongoing unemployment. ConnectU is driving digital inclusion for all, which underpins our purpose as a techco,” says Melanie Forbes, Managing Executive of Consumer Marketing & Insights at Vodacom South Africa.

The Education pillar provides zero-rated access to universities, TVET Colleges, Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, Vodacom’s e-School platform, and other educational categories. This has the highest rate of unique visitors, with 68 000 unique visitors per month on average.

Just recently, Vodacom launched Get-a-Gig, a job portal with a three-year vision of connecting 1 million youth to jobs or gigs by 2024. It was launched to address the dire state of unemployment among the youth in South Africa – but with the current national 34.5% unemployed rate country-wide, the need extends beyond youth. This revelation off the back of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) is primarily why Vodacom has extended its Get-a-Gig initiative to now offer job or gig opportunities to everyone on the Vodacom network – enabling them to participate in the gig economy.

Get-a-Gig, now available through the ConnectU platform, is easily accessible under the Jobs pillar. This free job portal matches a jobseeker to a job or an opportunity within Vodacom and its external partners, giving any jobseeker on Vodacom a fighting chance at employment.

“Our Get-a-Gig platform is powered by JOBJACK, a company who shares the same vision as us on job creation and driving economic participation in South Africa. We are excited to partner with them. Together we believe we can contribute to fighting the scourge, one job at a time, and take South Africa further” added Forbes.

All jobseekers on the Vodacom network will be able to view available gigs and register their profile for free, without the worry of data charges.

Since launching in April 2020, ConnectU has zero-rated more than 770 institutions and over 1 400 URLs, including the National Departments of Health, Home Affairs, and Education, to name a few. 

“At Vodacom we believe in the power of technology to transform lives and our goal is to connect the next 100 million customers by 2025. ConnectU supports this vision, providing transformative socio-economic development opportunities online at no data cost, and encouraging participation in the digital economy now and into the future,” concluded Forbes.

Customers can access ConnectU by visiting www.connectu.vodacom.co.za or through the My Vodacom App. Institutions wishing to get their sites zero-rated, can click on https://www.vodacom.co.za/cloud/digital/connect4uzerorating

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