Grassroot is a South African non profit technology startup that enables low-income South Africans to lead and organise their communities.

The app offers a simple set of tools that can be accessed from almost any mobile phone. Members can then interact between themselves, private organisations and government entities. It also allows for community meetings to be set up, petitions to be signed and funds to be raised in order to develop schools, churches or electricity and plumbing needs.

Currently the platform has over 300,000 users and a few thousand activities run through it per month – with only a team of three people behind the scenes. In order to manage this workload, Grassroot was born in the AWS cloud.

Platform: Most recent phones – an Internet connection is not needed

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit Grassroot here for more information

Saphila 2019

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The African SAP User Group (AFSUG) has announced upgrades to its Saphila App, which can be used by visitors and exhibitors at this year’s biennial SAP conference.

The app is designed to integrate the entire delegate experience – from registration right through to departure. This year’s conference includes beacon technology at each stand, which will alert users about talks, direct them to the stands, allow them to stream video to their phones and offer networking opportunities.

The Saphila App will allow exhibitors to view how many visitors popped passed their stand, how long they stayed there and what their interaction was like. For instance, once a visitor has spent more than eight minutes at a stand, the app will automatically ask if they would like more information.

The African SAP User Group takes place at Sun City on 10 and 11 June.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: For more information around Saphila 2019, or to register to attend, visit


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Travelling to a foreign country for a conference or a holiday sounds very glamorous, but there is always that language barrier that makes communication rather difficult.

Zoi attempts to remove the language barrier by instantly translating what is being said to you and what you are saying to other people. It does this by “listening” to what is being said and showing subtitles on a phone’s screen. Similarly, subtitles are displayed in the other person’s language so he or she understands you.

The app is really easy to set up: simply set your language and the language of the country you are visiting. 

In addition to translation, the app is able to record all conversations – great for when conducting an interview – and will summarise all the text into voice, which cuts down on your reading time.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download, limited to 20 minutes of translation per day. R360 per month for unlimited translation plus the ability to store up to 120 recorded sessions.

Stockists: Visit Zoi for registration and downloading instructions.


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In the past it was up to you if you wanted to insure your car or not. Now, however, most dealerships make insurance part of the contract when buying a new car – especially when buying one on finance.

The problem is that many insurance companies tend to drag their heals when it comes to sorting out the paperwork which needs to be sent to the bank before you can take possession of the car.

Naked, an AI-driven insurance provider, says it takes all the pain out of getting a car insured by generating a proof of insurance in a matter of minutes. The company claims that a car can be insured in under 90 seconds should the client accept the quote.

The app does this by scanning the licence disc and validating the registration, VIN and other details against various databases to make sure it is legitimate. A PDF is then sent to the phone and can be printed out at the dealership or bank.

The app goes one step further: in the event of an accident the user can manage all the logistics through the app. The Naked CoverPause option allows one to pause their accident cover should the car not be used for a period of time.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit Naked’s website here for registration and a quotation


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Stress plays a huge role in everyone’s life and if not properly controlled can be disastrous to your health. Besides the medication available, there is one natural way to lower your stress levels: and that is sleep.

However, it is kind of a catch 22 situation – you can’t sleep because you are stressing out, and vice-versa.

Rise, a sleep management app, includes four techniques to help one sleep better:  mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation and acceptance and commitment therapy. Although there is no guarantee that these techniques will help you fall asleep, it will help some people. See reviews in the app stores to see how it has worked for a variety of people.

Rise also includes a sleep diary so you can see if the app is helping. If you find the app effective, download the full version, which unlocks around 120 addition sleep routines to help you get your full eight hours.

Platfrom: Android

Expect to pay: A free download, however the full version will cost R145

Stockists: Visit the Google Play Store here for downloading instructions.


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