MTN will give you 1GB free data for downloading the COVID Alert SA app


Let’s think back for a moment, to roughly a year ago when the world was plunged into fear of this unknown virus. At that stage (and still today) one of the only realistic solutions was staying home. “Do your part,” they said. And we all stayed home for the sake of our health. Now, we’re on track to vaccinate the world and reach herd immunity, but until then we all still have to do our part and download the COVID Alert SA app for some free data. 

MTN has announced that it will gift any South African who downloads the local COVID tracking app with 1GB of free data if they’re on its network. Unfortunately, users on any of the other local mobile networks won’t have this luxury, but they may roll out special gifts sometime in the future. 

Not all COVID heroes wear capes

Clearly pitted as a way to incentivise app downloads, the free data will become available once an MTN user downloads the app (available on Google Play Store, Apple Store and Huawei AppGallery) through a series of prompts. The first prompt mentions the app’s ‘partners’, but once you’re through, it only lists MTN as a partner. 

User downloads of the contact tracing app is obviously a major need in SA at the moment. Developed by Discovery for the National Department of Health, COVID Alert SA uses Bluetooth contact-tracing methods and doesn’t collect any personal information. If someone tests positive for COVID-19, the app will automatically notify any devices that it’s been in contact with. 

“One of the critical aspects of combatting COVID-19 is the ability to detect positive cases early and to isolate as many contacts as possible. The COVID Alert SA app gives every smartphone user in South Africa the chance to understand their exposure to the virus, so that we can all protect our families and our communities, and especially those people who are most at risk of severe disease,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, MTN SA’s executive for corporate affairs. 

The free 1GB of data will only be valid for an hour though, so this isn’t a long-term commitment, but it could give your data balance a nice boost for a while. This may be the perfect opportunity to download a whole bunch of Netflix shows for offline watching later on.


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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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