Enabling remote access during lockdown


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.

ICT has submitted the following sites for zero rating:

To date, Telkom has confirmed implementation of the zero-rate service. Administrative processes to enable other telecom service providers to activate a similar service on their networks have been completed and we expect to get their confirmations soon.

These, along with other measures to widen access for all students, will be communicated as, and when, they become available.


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 (up to 16 April 2020).  Standard financial claim processes still apply and the line manager is expected to approve and validate data claims.

Porting of numbers (change of service providers while retaining the same number) is blocked during the lockdown. 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 telecom service providers.  Please feel free to seek advice from ICT Services by emailing Mkhosi.mahlatini@mandela.ac.za or Gary.ownhouse@mandela.ac.za

Other options to avail data are being negotiated with telecom companies and will be communicated as and when they can be exercised.

ICT Services