Completing the 2024 AcademicYear



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Zero-rated websites

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 on the University’s academic year, cellular service providers have offered to zero-rate certain learning websites for all universities. This means a user can access content via their cellular service at no cost. 

What does Zero-Rated Data mean?

  • Zero-Rated Traffic means that students can access specific websites without depleting their data bundle or airtime.

Which websites are Zero-Rated?

Website MTN Vodacom Cell-C Telkom Mobile

Yes Yes Yes Yes

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Yes No Yes No

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Yes No Yes No

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Which websites / services are NOT Zero-Rated:

  • All Microsoft 365 websites (incl. Outlook, SharePoint and Teams)
  • Library content hosted externally ( has been submitted for consideration)
  • YouTube
  • Zoom

What does it mean:

  • Links within Moodle that direct to any other external website which is not Zero-Rated (e.g. to SharePoint or YouTube) will result in costs / data charges for Students.

Which Network Providers have implemented Zero-Rated Data:

  • All the Mobile Network Providers have implemented Zero-Rated Data
  • Vodacom and Telkom Mobile have excluded content heavy URLs (Unitube)

Are there any Limits or Download Caps?

  • Not on the Zero-Rated Websites

Whereas efforts have been made to test the zero-rated sites, we advise students to have minimal data credits (e.g. 5MB) to ensure no glitches with accessing all zero-rated sites.

This overview was released on the 23 April 2020. Please be aware that there will be ongoing changes to Zero-Rated Traffic Rules.

Guidelines for data management

Web browsing and social media:

  • Turn off automatic media downloads in apps such as WhatsApp
  • Turn off auto play in video apps like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram

Video and audio:

  • Turn off video when meeting online (audio only – Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp are the preferred tools)
  • Attempt to make media rich content (videos, images) optional/accompanied by text alternatives
  • When viewing videos, select low resolution options. High Definition (HD) videos use high volumes of data.

Hardware operating systems:

  • Turn off automatic system updates and if possible, choose critical updates only. Schedule these to take place at night.
  • If your device has low data or data saver modes, activate them.

Collaboration and communication:

  • Email documents in a zipped format but use email as a last resort. Content should rather be loaded on Moodle where possible. Moodle itself enables some communication methods:
    • The introduction of a standard discussion forum on Moodle courses to enable staff to address any student concerns collectively.  The Forum provides a means for students and staff to communicate as a whole class or in small groups.
    • The announcements forum is useful as a one-way broadcast channel that will reach all students; ideal for circulating important course information.
  • Moodle is zero-rated, but all content external to Moodle, like links to YouTube, Turnitin, Microsoft Teams, etc. are not even if they are in a Moodle site.
  • Turn off cloud storage and synchronizing options such as Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Synchronize or download content during lower rate periods, if applicable.

An example of data consumption using the Microsoft Teams online collaboration tool:

Voice to Voice
5MB for 5 minutes
60MB per hour

Voice sharing to Voice with PowerPoint
10MB for 5 minutes.
120MB per hour

One way Video
35MB for 5 minutes
420MB per hour

Two way Video
60MB for 5 minutes
720MB per hour

Recording is on par with data usage.

Video calls will scales to higher quality based on available internet speed and can consume higher data.