Telephony company Telkom is deploying a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) with the hope of boosting customer service across South Africa.
It has unveiled a fleet of six EVs, which it dubs Telkom T-Connect vans. The vehicles are currently in the proof-of-concept phase, but it is anticipated that more will be rolled out in the coming year.
In a statement, Telkom says these vans will bring digital services to events, beachfronts, office parks and gated communities in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
Locally manufactured by South African company MellowVans, the EVs are driven by previously unemployed youths who earn commissions from sales and sign-ups, says Telkom.
It adds that all drivers are accredited by Delivery ka Speed − a BEE township delivery partner.
“We are proud to enable our customers to connect and transact with Telkom through the rollout of this fleet of T-Connect vans,” says Itumeleng Phetlho, managing executive: CSB sales and distribution for Telkom.
“This is part of Telkom’s disruptive distribution strategy, which is all about bringing customers better connectivity in brand-new ways.”
The firm explains that by scanning the embedded QR codes on the T-Connect fleet, customers can pay accounts, order products for delivery through Telkom’s e-commerce site and sign up for digital services, including fibre-to-the-home.
All these transactions operate on a cashless platform, with zero-rated services, it notes.
“These T-Connect vans – the first of their kind – will be bringing digital solutions to points that are both accessible and convenient for customers,” says Phetlho.
“Besides providing a customer service, the T-Connect vans also give us insights into customer usage and demand, which will shape the future development of our products and services.”