Vodacom is in full support of the measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19 and help to flatten the curve of infections in South Africa.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, has announced that South Africa’s telecommunications workers will be exempt from the Covid-19 national lockdown as digital infrastructure is deemed a critical service. To that end, both fixed-line and mobile telephony systems must be maintained during South Africa’s 21-day lockdown.
“While we are all feeling anxious about the health and wellness of loved ones, family, colleagues and members of our community, we cannot ignore that the Government has called upon us to act in support of ensuring our community remains connected during this time of lockdown,” says Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer of Vodacom’s Consumer Business Unit.
“In line with governments’ regulations, certain Vodacom stores will trade with limited working hours and strict procedures to ensure our customers stay connected. The limited trading stores will only supply goods and execute services that are deemed essential, such as data, airtime, repairs and sim-swaps,” he added.
There are 139 Vodacom stores around the country that will remain open during the lockdown period with operating hours aligned to respective malls and their limited hours of trading. Vodacom’s flagship store, Vodacom World will remain open, however trading hours are also limited. Vodacom will ensure that these stores maintain the highest hygiene standards with numerous preventative measures in place to ensure the health and safety of not only our customers, but our employees too.
These measures include:
“As a business committed to supporting our customers during this uncertain time, we strongly encourage our customers to stay at home and rather make use of our online platform and services. Customers should only leave their houses to go to our stores to perform critical services that cannot be performed online,” says Mendes.
Customers are encouraged to use Vodacom’s self-help platforms for services such as buying data, voice and SMS’s by making use of the *135# USSD string, My Vodacom App, VodaPay Masterpass app. Customers who prefer to call the call centre may still do so, however the number of agents on duty will be limited, in line with government’s regulations, so customers are encouraged to be patient. Some of our call centre agents are set up to work from home to ensure our customers stay connected.
For further questions, ToBi the chatbot is ready to provide answers and self-service via WhatsApp on 082 009 8624. Customers just need to add ToBi as a contact. The Vodacom Website will provide further details on which stores will remain open.
“We are in this together and we urge our customers to abide by the lockdown regulations. We are supporting you every step of the way,” says Mendes.