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Youth rewarded for smart COVID-19 behaviour

Written by Dale Hes

South African online rewards platform Zlto has been rewarding youth for being positive role models and taking responsible actions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Members of the Zlto team with Allan van der Meulen in the right bottom corner.Zlto (pronounced ‘Zlato’) is a unique platform which was developed in 2016 to help the youth earn an income for volunteering, learning and doing good. Co-founder Allan van der Meulen (24) came up with the idea after attending a workshop at technology non-profit company RLabs.

“Growing up in the Cape Flats, youth unemployment is a huge problem. Many people feel there is no alternative and for a long time, that is what I thought,” says Van der Meulen.

The RLabs workshop changed Van der Meulen’s thinking. He realised that young people are not lazy, they simply lack the opportunities needed to turn their lives around.

This gave rise to Zlto, which promotes community action and helps young people gain the skills they need to secure jobs. The online platform can be easily accessed from any entry-level smartphone. Users who register for free on the platform can perform certain tasks to gain currency, which they can exchange for electricity, airtime, Shoprite goods and transport money.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Zlto decided to reward young South Africans for practising good hygiene and trying to support themselves through the crisis.

Through the ‘Stay Home, Keep Safe’ initiative, young people are rewarded for tasks such as washing their hands, cleaning their homes and caring for loved ones. They are also rewarded for applying for government’s R350 Social Relief of Distress Grant.

“We realised many of our young people had little to do. We created tasks that would prevent COVID-19 spread such as adding the government’s Covid 19 WhatsApp number and washing or sanitising your hands daily.”

Users can also access free courses on health, hygiene, life-skills and money management.

How to use Zlto

  • Go to app.zlto.co
  • Sign up with your email address and create a password.
  • Check your email inbox for a verification link.
  • You can now log in to the site.
  • Click on ‘Earn’ to discover the ways you can earn Zlto points. 
  • You can choose from several microtasks or even create your own initiative to earn rewards.
  • You can spend your Zlto in the ‘Spend’ section of the website.