Vodacom Siyakha, which was launched by Vodacom in 2017, has reached 7.5 million users in just a year – the company revealed on Wednesday, 31 January 2017.
Siyakha which means “to build” in IsiZulu was introduced to offer zero-rated and lower priced products and services to the emerging prepaid segment of its customer base.
Vodacom, Chief Officer: Consumer Business Unit, Nyimpini Mabunda said, “When we launched a year ago the inspiration for us was about becoming a lot more to our customers, especially those who mostly need these services more than the transactional relationship of buying airtime and using voice and data services. It was about becoming a brand that makes a difference in our customer’s lives and being a brand with a purpose.”
The content on the platform is available in five languages namely, IsiZulu, Sesotho, Xhosa, Afrikaans and English. To get access to the products, Vodacom customers have to dial *888#. The platform houses free health content, insurance products, educational portals, careers and jobs websites.
Mabunda said, “Siyakha is aimed at customers who don’t have many resources. These customers are looking for affordability and as Vodacom, we looked for a way to bring the cost of communication and services down in a tangible way and make a difference in their lives.”
“Siyakha is a tariff plan that customers can join easily. Once opted in, customers get a special tariff which gives them 50% bonus when they recharge. Knowing that a lot of our customers want to bury themselves with dignity, we included free funeral cover. We also offer Siyakha bonus points as well as airtime,” said Mabunda.
Siyakha makes access to a number of websites, including sites related to education and job seeking, free to Vodacom customers. The jobs product which is one of the four available on Siyakha allows job seekers to search for good jobs, apply online and follow-up with employers through our Vodacom network.
Speaking about the products, Mabunda said, “What is exciting for us is the four areas of value-added services that customers get with this product. The first one is what we call socio-connectivity where customers get free access to Facebook Flex. The performance has been incredible, we have over a million customers using Facebook Flex on a regular basis (Facebook subscribers exceed 6 million). And many of our customers interchange between Facebook and Facebook Flex. This makes a difference to a million customer who previously did not have access to Facebook.”
Under the health category, Vodacom launched a platform called Mom and Baby, the platform has just has reached under a million users in a year. Customers connect to Mum and Baby get information on a range of health topics including sexual and reproductive health, pregnancy information, breastfeeding, immunisation, mother and child bonding, early childhood, nutrition and HIV/Aids.
“All the relevant topics are guided by the department of health on things that the moms need to have healthy babies. The Mum and Baby platform offers certified and professional information available at no charge,” he said.
Siyakha also includes an education platform. “There is an urgent need to educate. There are many people who want to be educated but do not have access to classrooms or qualified teachers. Working with the Department of Basic Education, we are able to take the authorised national curriculum and make it available for free to our Siyakha customers at no charge. Usage for this platform is growing and we are just under 3000 users a day,” said Mabunda.
The new and advanced version of Mum and Baby will include information on depression as well as first aid which also applies to pregnancy.
“We want our customers to be able to personalise the product. We are investing in technology such as big data which will help us determine our customers use behaviour. We want to make it more targeted and holistic so that our customers can get what is relevant to them,” concluded Mabunda.