South African apps are making lives easier. Some of these apps are efficiently revolutionising how we live and travel. Mobile apps have given us the freedom to move freely and also to access almost anything at the tap of our phone screens. The South African apps listed in this article will help you to reduce stress while increasing your productivity. Some of these apps allow you to request a taxi, find accommodation, access your money, and order food with convenience. Thankfully, our smartphones can now do everything that phones could not do decades ago.
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Numbers tell a story
Statistically, mobile phones are progressively becoming part of the lives of billions of people globally. More than 62% of the world’s population now owned a mobile phone as of 2016. This stat is compared to an estimated 50% global ownership of mobile phones in 2006.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the adoption of mobile devices has almost doubled within the last ten years. As at 2017, there was a 44% subscriber penetration.
There’s a South African app for everything
The list of things you can do with a smartphone is endless. With your smartphone and specifically with South African apps, you can search for and find everything from schools, jobs, love, cooking recipes, accommodation, protection or transportation.
Today, there’s a mobile app for everything! For example, there is a mobile app that can monitor your heartbeat while women now have a mobile app that monitors their monthly cycle. People have adopted mobile apps as their best friends. These mobile apps’ ability to make our lives easier have increased apps’ global acceptance.
My favorite South African apps
There are 3 mobile apps that stand out for travellers to South Africa and specifically for those visiting or living in Johannesburg. These apps’ functionality ranges from transport, shopping, and safety. The list in this article will help you to reduce your stress levels and increase your productivity. I will briefly go through each app with a review of my personal experience.
1. VayaMoja – South African App for buses in Johannesburg
VayaMoja is a public transport mobile app developed by the City of Johannesburg for ReaVaya and MetroBus commuters. Even though I started using the Johannesburg Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) service around July 2018, my experience has been mostly very pleasant.
ReaVaya – safe, affordable and convenient
ReaVaya is tsotsitaal, meaning, ‘We are going’. The ReaVaya public transport service presently runs through the bustling inner city of Johannesburg on dedicated road lanes connecting the various townships in Soweto and the Braamfontein areas. The city management has plans to expand to other parts of the city in the future. The City of Joburg’ bus system is safe, cheap, comfortable and fairly reliable. Compared to driving to certain parts of the city in a car, ReaVaya can be more affordable and convenient. The Reavaya bus is clean with spacious legroom and comfortable seating pads. It also has wide windows that give good street views, and if you are standing, there are handheld ropes and poles to keep you safe in the bus. The busses are also well managed as you will rarely find any of their buses abruptly stop in traffic due to mechanical faults (unlike Putco buses).
Increased fuel prices and affordable public transport
Considering the rising cost of petrol, ReaVaya is my commonsense mode of transport when travelling to the ‘traffic-jammed’ Johannesburg inner city. I downloaded VayaMoja smartphone app because I want to be in charge of my trips. Asking for direction from bus station staff or fellow commuters can be confusing and sometimes stressful. The VayaMoja mobile-friendly app gives users the ability to search for routes, the bus fare, transit points, and bus schedules, and of course transit-related information.
Finding the nearest Metrobus or ReaVaya station via VayaMoja
My favourite feature on the VayaMoja mobile app is the ability to view the closest bus station and service routes to me. Right within the bus route pane, you can also see where a specific bus is coming from and where it is going. This mobile app is user-friendly and it will help you to plan your trips.
Mobile apps run more than our phones. They literally help us run our lives!
The ugly side of ReaVaya
Sometimes, Rea Vaya has its shortcomings. It is expected to be on schedule, but my friend, be ready for unpleasant surprises! My first disappointing experience of limited busses was at the Library Gardens East Bus Station at Joburg Central Business District (CBD). The number of commuters waiting for pickup was overwhelming on this day. One of the bus station staff attributed the delay to fewer buses on the trunk routes serving the CBD and connecting my destination which was Auckland Park. With this experience, I will advise you to prepare ahead for the worst-case scenario – most especially around late afternoons (after work hours) and weekends.
In conclusion, VayaMoja is a fantastic app that guarantees convenience and ease of access to public transport information within the City of Johannesburg.
Zulzi On-Demand Grocery Delivery App
Sometimes, you feel like not stepping out of your house. Dressing up and driving to the mall can be too time-consuming on days when you feel like staying home. The creators of Zulzi identified this frustration all too well.
Zulziis a revolutionary mobile app that allows you to order from Woolworths, Pick ‘nPay, Dis-Chem, Spar Tops, and Clicks (in +/- One hour)!
The Zulzi mobile app tracks and communicates to you as the Zulzi personal shoppers select your groceries in real time. There is also a driver who will deliver your order to your door. For me, this is classic.
My experience with Zulzi
My family and I have been using Zulzi for over 6 months for grocery shopping on an ad hoc basis. Honestly, the customer service is satisfactory. The shoppers can sometimes be inattentive but they usually make up for it when you point it out. For example, there was a day we requested and paid for two tubs of ice cream and one of them had already been open (not eaten though). We spotted the problem only after unpacking the groceries. Feedback was sent to our shopper and surprisingly, they replaced it. We also like the fact that they go the extra mile to find our grocery requests. The
3. Khwela – Minibus Taxi App
A relatively new addition to the South African apps directory is the Khwela taxi app. Khwela is specifically designed to assist commuters of South African taxis. The mobile app makes it easy to find the closest taxi ranks, contact details of taxi rank officials and the rank’s operating hours. It also shows you taxi fares, the routes operated by such ranks and it reports road incidents.
In my case, I rarely use the public taxis but I love the Khwela app for its excellent reportage on road traffic incidences. I have avoided several traffic delays as a result of Khwela mobile app’s brilliant traffic incidents reported via push notifications.
Khwela notifies you of major and minor road incidents e.g. road accidents, road construction, police roadblocks, protest action, flood incidence, traffic light malfunction, vehicle breakdowns, and stationary vehicles in the middle of the road.
These are some of the traffic incident notifications that help me choose routes. The mobile app’s notifications also help me to be cautious and keep road safety a priority while driving. Thank you to the creators of this brilliant mobile app.
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