Vodacom recently announced that it has zero-rated its gender-based violence (GBV) awareness app, Bright Sky SA. The app, which was launched year November, provides support and information for anyone in an abusive relationship. The telecommunications company says the decision to zero-rate the app is part of its ongoing commitment to prevent GBV in South Africa.
he zero-rate ensures 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.
Takalani Netshitenzhe, external affairs director for Vodacom South Africa, 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.”
The app is already free for download on both iOS and Android devices and is available in three official languages: English, IsiZulu and Sesotho. It includes a short questionnaire to help users identify different forms of abuse and also gives information about GBV and access to support services.
Vodacom said in a statement that the app is an important part of its 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.
Netshitenzhe commented further:
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.
GBV in South Africa is unprecedented. According to the latest GBV 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.