Enabling Remote Access During Lockdown (1)


The University is actively pursuing a number of initiatives to support students in utilising online learning platforms, as well as for staff to work remotely.



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. The attached document details the zero rated services as currently implemented by the various service providers.

These, along with other upcoming measures to widen access for all students, will be communicated soon.


In addition, the need to address connectivity requirements of staff working remotely has necessitated a deviation to the remote access policy.

Accordingly, line managers will assess and pre-approve requests for data in accordance with operational requirements. The cap is R500 per month based on need.

Once such approval has been secured from the line manager, the staff member will claim back the data costs with supporting invoice/proof of purchase.  Standard financial claim processes still apply and the line manager is expected to approve and validate data claims. Staff are advised to opt for once-off data purchases on their existing cellular contracts. While all cellular providers have data promotions at this point, services such as offerings from Rain (www.rain.ac.za) may also be considered.

Staff should ensure that good LTE coverage (4G wireless communication standard) exists in their area for their chosen provider. Kindly use the following tool available at https://armstrongonewire.com/Internet/DataCalculator to calculate the expected capacity required.

A number of special COVID-19 price specials are currently on offer from cellular service providers.  Please feel free to seek advice from ICT Services by emailing Mkhosi.Mahlathini@mandela.ac.za or Gary.Ownhouse@mandela.ac.za

Other options to avail data to staff are being negotiated with service providers and will be communicated as and when they can be exercised.

ICT Services