Mar 2024 1st edition

Get a handle on your finances

Nosihle Shelembe

In an effort to help young professionals manage their finances, a group of four people have developed a mobile application (App) that tracks bank transactions, making it easier for its users to see exactly where their monies goes to when they are not paying attention. 

Developed three years ago, the budget and expenses App uses artificial intelligence (AI) to track the spending habits of its clients. The app allow users to export portable document format (PDF) bank statements from all major South African banks as a supplement to the reading of SMSes. 

This accommodates users who do not want to give away the permission to access their SMS messages.
“A friend of mine came up with the idea to develop the App when he was struggling to manage his finances. He decided to put together a group of people to work on the App. It took us about two years to complete the product and it was officially released to the public last year June,” said Sabelo Thabethe, Zaka Manager co-founder.

While the 27-year-old man has a full time job as a software developer, when the opportunity to pursue business came about, he did not hesitate to grab it with both hands and establish a business with his friends.

“I wanted to pursue business to achieve financial freedom. Considering that I have always had a passion for working with computers since high school, I saw this as a great opportunity,” said the University of Cape Town (UCT) Computer Science Graduate.

Just like any business, the entrepreneurial journey for the founders of Zaka Manager, a Cape Town based company, has not been easy.

“Users often have concerns about the security of financial data when using budgeting and expense tracking apps. We have had to emphasise and communicate the robust security measures that we have implemented on the App, such as encrypted storage, secure network practices, and biometric authentication.

“We have also had a challenge getting users to adopt a new financial tool and ensuring sustained engagement. To address this challenge, we have implemented user-friendly features, provided educational resources on how to use the app effectively, and we continuously update the App with new, valuable utilities to keep users engaged,” Thabethe said. 

The App can be downloaded on Google Play and the App store.

Thabethe is also a beneficiary of the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme, which was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 with the intention to see young South Africans being offered paid work experience.

The initiative takes the form of a partnership – led by the President– between government, business, labour and civil society.

During his time on the programme, Thabethe did a one-year internship with Zaio focusing on web management. 
“In addition to the work experience that I was doing, we were offered courses that encouraged us to be entrepreneurial,” he said.  

More information about the App can be found on
The company can also be followed on its social media accounts.

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