South Africans are an innovative lot, and as a result, there are a wealth of brilliant apps designed to make life here just a little simpler. These are the ones we think are absolutely essential, and being the humble people we are, we’re even resisting the temptation to push our own brilliant news app for iOS and Android.
Namola is a fast, simple way to get the assistance you need as quickly as possible in any emergency. Pushing a single button will contact a call centre who will call you back within minutes (and sometimes sooner) in order to dispatch the right help from nearby police, paramedics or other emergency responders.
At the same time as you call for assistance, up to five emergency contacts will be alerted as to the fact that you have called for help and will be given your location. They can also contact and speak to the call centre to get updates on what is happening to you.
Khwela takes away the pain of commuting in an unfamiliar area. Using your location and desired destination the app will point to nearby taxi ranks, show you where the best options are for catching a taxi to your destination and will even tell you what it will cost.
The app also provides access to a chatroom where commuters are able to connect with each other and share concerns, fares, and give feedback and suggestions on the platform. It also has an option for commuters to voice their grievances to the National Taxi Alliance.
Bottles is a simple concept, executed well. Need alcohol? Open the app, type in your order and they will deliver within 60 minutes. It’s great for weekend get-togethers, braais, sports matches or those parties that go on so long that the drinks run out.
4. EskomSePush – Load Shedding App
Eskom doesn’t always seem to know when or how it will be load-shedding, and yet somehow this app rolls with the punches and will keep you up to date on exactly when you will be without power.
EskomSePush is now the most downloaded application on the South African iOS App store, and the second most downloaded application, behind WhatsApp, in the South African Google Play Store.
Minderz is an essential app for pet owners who still want to be able to leave their homes for extended periods or go on holiday. The app allows pet owners to search through a list of independently vetted home and pet-minders to find someone who look after your beloved animals, either at your home, at their home or just for drop-in visits or dog walks.
While still in its early stages, Droppa promises to completely disrupt the moving industry. The app allows South Africans to order trucks and bakkies for all kinds of pick-ups and deliveries at prices that are significantly cheaper than most moving companies.
While these informal drivers don’t come with the kinds of insurance that the bigger companies do in case of breakages, the drivers are registered with Droppa and users can track their progress to see exactly where they are over the length of the journey, thereby ensuring risks are significantly reduced.
If you live in a big city, Snapscan is likely already a part of your life, but if it isn’t you should download it right now.
When it comes to payments, particularly in markets and for smaller companies, this app is increasingly the way to go. It’s fast, supports credit and debit cards and is currently accepted by 40,000 merchants across the country. It incorporates cutting-edge fraud protection technology, making it an easy, secure essential.
8. Newman’s Bird App
Anyone from casual wildlife enthusiasts on their first trip to Kruger Park to full-blown binocular-owning Twitchers should be able to appreciate this app. With a glossary of 975 local birds, it’s the perfect companion to bird watching in southern Africa.
Including over 1,000 photos and recordings of more than 800 bird calls, the app allows users to filter the options for birds by their current location, region, size and colour. Perhaps best of all for the fanatical bird watcher is the fact that this app will track your sightings for you on an online life list.
Sweepsouth makes finding a cleaner simple, easy and efficient. Whether you need someone to come in for just one day or are looking to place someone for a regular appointment, the app will provide numerous options based on your needs and schedule.
The system is simple, with users creating a personalised “cleaning plan” and then being matched with potential “sweepstars” online. The whole transaction can be managed through the app, right down to the cashless payment at the end of the cleaning shift.
And it’s not just benefitting the apps users. According to the creators, “Over 85% of the staff say they prefer working on the platform rather than having long-term permanent employment because of the flexibility and independence associated with it. Furthermore, they can earn up to R8 000 per month, including tips – more than double the earnings of an average domestic worker in SA.”
With so many dramatic incidents and emergencies happening in this country, MiBlackBox is the perfect app for the witness who wants to record an event for future reference or proof. At a touch of a button, MiBlackBox records sounds, phone calls and videos and uploads them to a cloud server. This means that whatever happens to the phone the recordings will all be safe.
Brent Thomson, Managing Director of MiBlackBox explains, “For cellphone users facing potentially life-threatening situations at home, in the traffic, at work or simply out and about, MiBlackBox is the most reliable virtual witness to events as they unfolded.”