To prevent Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Vodacom announced that it has zero-rated its Bright Sky SA app, which was launched in November last year. This in order to ensure that Vodacom users will not incur any data costs when downloading the app or accessing many of the referral links to GBV support services found in the app.
Zero-rating the app is a critical next step in Vodacom’s GBV prevention strategy. Given that not everyone can afford data, Vodacom is highly focused on making connectivity more accessible, particularly when it comes to essential tools and services such as Bright Sky.
Vodacom South Africa, External Affairs Director, Takalani Netshitenzhe says: “Technology has a powerful part to play in solving some of the country’s greatest challenges. But in order for these solutions to be as effective as possible, they also need to address the significant connectivity gap that still exists within this country.”
Bright Sky, which provides support and information for anyone in an abusive relationship, is already free for download on both iOS and Android devices and is available in three official languages: English, IsiZulu and Sesotho. The app includes a short questionnaire to help users identify different forms of abuse. It also gives them information about GBV and access to support services.
The app is an important part of Vodacom’s bid to help fight GBV, strengthening prevention through awareness and education, and directing those affected by GBV to the support services that are available to them. With COVID-19 having prompted a dramatic surge in GBV cases, prevention measures such as these are more important than ever.
Gender-based violence in South Africa is unprecedented. According to the latest GVB research, one in four women will experience violence by men and are five times more likely to be killed. A woman is murdered every four hours in South Africa.
“In making Bright Sky easily accessible, we hope to encourage as many South Africans as possible to download the app and use it as a resource to help those around them who may be suffering from abuse, ultimately empowering themselves to help us in pushing back against GBV in our country,” concludes Netshitenzhe.
Some of the additional resources, which can be launched from the app and are also zero-rated, can be found below: