Vodacom phasing out “VIP” contracts for high-profile South Africans

Vodacom has started phasing out “VIP” contracts for high-profile South Africans, replacing them with a loyalty programme. The statement from Vodacom follows a report by the Sunday World[1] that the network had stopped issuing free airtime to several members of the Mandela family. The report stated that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was downgraded to a capped top-up contract of R2,500 per month.

Vodacom said it could not provide more details on the contracts, as this would violate POPI privacy laws.

Vodacom VIPs

Vodacom said it started to phase out the “VIP contracts” after it established a formalised loyalty programme. “Previously, Vodacom used these mechanisms to reward the likes of high-spending individuals as well as Vodacom ambassadors, such as players in sporting teams sponsored by Vodacom,” it said. This included the Mandela family.

“With regard to Nelson Mandela, given his legacy and his significant contribution to South Africa’s young democracy, it was a gesture of appreciation to him and his family at the time.” “Where these contracts still exist, there are strict limits in place. As mentioned previously, we are in the process of phasing these out,” said Vodacom.

Onyx and Platinum

In place of the VIP contracts, the packages which form part of the Vodacom loyalty programme include the Onyx[2] and Platinum[3] deals.

A Platinum Membership is awarded when a user achieves an average spend of R2,400 or more per month, over a six-month period. If the user does not meet the required average spend, the Platinum membership will lapse. It will only reactivate when the criteria is met again.

The Onyx programme is an annual membership provided by Vodacom via personal invitation. All benefits apply for the current year only, and the membership is reviewed annually. If an Onyx programme membership lapses, and the Platinum average spend criteria of R2,400 is met, a user then becomes a member of the Platinum programme.

Benefits available in both programmes include:

  • An annual device upgrade according to your price plan.
  • A courtesy phone of the same or similar make and model to yours, on loan for 30 days, if your device is defective, stolen, or lost.
  • 24-hour access to a Premium Service Desk to handle requests.

Now read: We raised concerns with MTN about LTE connection charges – Afrihost[4]


  1. ^ Sunday World (
  2. ^ Onyx (
  3. ^ Platinum (
  4. ^ We raised concerns with MTN about LTE connection charges – Afrihost (

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