Teta, a new instant messaging app from entrepreneurs Themba Moyo and Lisa Phendla, aims to take on WhatsApp by offering instant messaging that works when you have no airtime, the Sunday Times reported.
Currently, the app lets users send messages, pictures, and videos if they have no airtime, provided they are on the Vodacom network.
Users on other networks will deplete their data balance as they would with a normal messaging app.
“We intend to expand it to MTN and Telkom later,” said Moyo.
The app is available for Android in the Google Play store and an iOS version is in development – expected to launch in 2017.
The Sunday Times reported that the the app is built on a Vodacom-developed platform that is used by Absa to let its clients access its online banking services without airtime.
Once Teta has built up its user base, the duo plan to fund the cost of accessing the platform with advertising.

The full report is in the Sunday Times of 24 July 2016.