‘Zimbabweans in SA take to free messaging service’
- Parent Category: Mobile
- Published on 06 July 2012
A free text messaging service called EcoChat has become popular with Zimbabweans living in South Africa, according to Econet.
The service is free during 2012, and forms part of the Econet ‘Call Home’ SIM card. Similar to popular messenger service What’s App, subscribers only pay standard data rates, which works out to be the fraction of the cost of an SMS.
Many Zimbabweans have fled across the border into South Africa to escape the economic meltdown in their home country.
It is unclear as to how many Zimbabweans live in South Africa, as some experts have said it could be in the millions. But according to South Africa’s home affairs department, a total of 255,282 Zimbabweans had been granted permits to make their stay legal in the country.
“As a network, Econet understands the plight of the many Zimbabweans who are working and living in South Africa,” said Mr. Rangarirai Mberi, Econet group communications manager.
Mberi said that while Econet Wireless could not provide figures on usage at this point in time, he maintained that the offering has been well-received.
“The initial feedback has been extremely positive with many customers now been able to be in touch with their loved ones back home on a daily basis,” he said.