Pre-paid data for UCT students

22 April 2020 | From Kgethi

Dear students and colleagues

As we continue with this important week of orientation into online learning at the University of Cape Town, (UCT), I am writing to inform you about the pre-paid data that is now available to all UCT students who have valid South African cell numbers (according to UCT records in PeopleSoft). Some of you may have seen information about this in the media but it is important for me to communicate the full details with you.

If you are a student and your South African mobile number is not recorded on UCT’s PeopleSoft system, please log on to PeopleSoft and provide your mobile number immediately.

Cell C, Telkom and Vodacom have now all agreed to zero rate access to certain UCT sites. We are still in negotiation with MTN and hope to finalise this implementation shortly. I want to again express appreciation, on behalf of UCT, to each of these companies for this important expression of support to UCT students as we embark on this period of online learning.

Zero rating will apply to the following UCT websites:

In addition, Telkom and Cell C have zero rated Open UCT (reachable at or and Vodacom has zero rated UCT News (reachable at and and UCT open access journals (reachable at and

It is important to note that even though authentication itself, via, is zero rated, should staff or students be authenticating to a site other than the ones listed above as zero rated (such as LinkedIn Learning, for instance) that site will incur data charges.

In addition to the zero rating agreements, UCT has purchased a data bundle for each student with a valid South African cell number. Each student will receive 30-40 gigabytes (GB) depending on their network provider, valid for 30 days, during the next week. These agreements were negotiated separately with each service provider and students have started receiving data bundles as from Monday, 21 April. The details are summarised below.

Cell C: 30GB for a month after it is provisioned: 10GB is available during the day, 20GB as part of Cell C’s Nite Data offering from 00:00 to 05:00.

MTN: 30GB for a month after it is provisioned: 10GB is available during the day, 20GB as part of MTN’s Night Express offering from 00:01 to 04:59.

Telkom: 40GB for a month after it is provisioned: 20GB is available during the day, 20GB as part of Telkom’s Night Surfer offering from 00:00 to 07:00.

Vodacom: 30GB for a month after it is provisioned: 10GB is available during the day, 20GB as part of Vodacom’s Night Owl offering from 00:00 to 05:00.

These pre-paid data bundles and the agreements for zero rated access to UCT websites are an important part of the effort UCT staff members are putting into the programme for online learning at UCT. On behalf of the university, I wish each student success with online learning.

We know that online learning may not be available to every UCT student. UCT is setting up an additional system to distribute printed learning materials and USB drives for students who cannot access the internet in any form. When it is safe to return to campus, students who were not able to study online, as well as other students who feel they have fallen behind in their studies, will be able to catch up through a programme of blended learning combined with face-to-face teaching.

Please contact your faculty advisor or department via Vula if you have any questions about online learning, receiving printed learning materials and USB drives, or other study needs during this time. For technical questions you can also contact the Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) Helpdesk by emailing or phoning 021 650 4500 during office hours.

I wish you continued health and safety during this difficult time.

With kind regards,

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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