22/08/2017 12:40 SAST | Updated 22/08/2017 13:10 SAST

'71MB Gone In 1 Minute' - How Vodacom's Glitch Destroyed Much More Than Just Data

One student's university application was destroyed.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

Vodacom has apologised for the technical glitch that affected thousands of its customers on Monday night, resulting in the disappearance of airtime and data.

Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy said the problem was caused by "a configuration change on their billing system."

But it wasn't just data and airtime that was lost.

The glitch could cost education prospects for one Bongani Mthobeni. The matriculant posted on Facebook how the disappearing data affected his university application, which was due on Monday.

The former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, also pointed out how the glitch is more than just airtime and data loss.

Actress and television personality, Boity Thulo pointed out the dangers the glitch could have caused.

"We couldn't have foreseen the ramifications of the glitch," Kennedy told HuffPost SA, adding that they were terribly sorry.

Kennedy could not say with certainty if the mobile operator would do anything to refund opportunities lost during the technical glitch.

Some Twitter users, however, have suggested that Vodacom gives people like Mthombeni, a bursary.

At the time of writing, Kennedy said they had reimbursed most of its customers and hoped to have fixed the issue by close of business day, latest.

He also said the mobile network's technicians will take a closer look to ensure that something like this never happens again. "Moving forward, we will have a long and hard look at processes already in place, to see where we can improve."