Quick Summary


In today’s fast-paced world, staying connected is more crucial than ever. Whether it’s catching up with loved ones, attending virtual meetings, or accessing essential online services, having sufficient airtime is a necessity. However, we’ve all been there – that moment when you run out of airtime at the most inconvenient time. That’s where Telkom’s Emergency Top-Up Service comes to the rescue. This service allows Telkom customers to borrow airtime or data when they find themselves running low or completely out. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deep into understanding the Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service, its benefits, eligibility criteria, and how you can make the most out of it. So, let’s get started!

Understanding the Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service

What is the Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service?

The Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service is a lifesaver for Telkom customers who find themselves in urgent need of airtime or data but are unable to recharge immediately. This service allows qualifying customers to borrow airtime or data in advance, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity when it matters the most. Whether you need to make an urgent call, send an important email, or browse the web, the Emergency Top-Up Service has got you covered.

How Does it Benefit Telkom Customers?

The primary benefit of the Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service is the peace of mind it offers. No more worrying about running out of airtime during crucial moments or emergencies. Additionally, this service provides:

  • Immediate Assistance: Borrow airtime or data instantly when you need it the most.
  • Flexibility: Choose the amount of airtime or data you need based on your requirements.
  • Convenience: Access the service directly from your Telkom mobile device by dialing *180# and following the prompts.

Eligibility Criteria for Accessing the Emergency Top-Up Service

While the Emergency Top-Up Service is designed to assist Telkom customers in times of need, there are certain eligibility criteria that need to be met:

  • Prepaid or Top Customer: You must be a prepaid customer or a top customer who has been using the Telkom network for at least six months.
  • Qualifying Network Risk Profile: Your network risk profile should meet the qualifying criteria set by Telkom.
  • Sufficient Number of Recharges: You should have a sufficient number of recharges on your account to be eligible for the service.

Meeting these criteria ensures that the Emergency Top-Up Service is available to those who genuinely need it, while also maintaining the integrity of the service for all Telkom customers.

Step-by-Step Guide to Borrowing Airtime on Telkom

Navigating the Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service might seem daunting at first, but fear not! Telkom has designed the process to be straightforward and user-friendly. Below is a detailed step-by-step guide to help you borrow airtime on Telkom effortlessly:

Step 1: Dial *180# on Your Telkom Mobile Device

The first step to accessing the Emergency Top-Up Service is dialing *180# on your Telkom mobile device. This USSD code serves as the gateway to various Telkom services, including the Emergency Top-Up.

Helpful Tip: Make sure you have a stable network connection before proceeding with the transaction to avoid any interruptions.

Step 2: Choose the “Emergency Top Up” Option from the Menu

Once you’ve dialed *180#, a menu will appear on your screen with different options for Telkom services. Look for the “Emergency Top Up” option and select it to proceed.

Personal Experience: I remember the first time I tried borrowing airtime on Telkom, I was pleasantly surprised by how intuitive the menu was. It took me less than a minute to find the Emergency Top-Up option and move on to the next step.

Step 3: Select the Desired Airtime Amount

After choosing the “Emergency Top Up” option, you’ll be presented with a list of available airtime amounts ranging from R3 to R15. Select the amount that suits your immediate needs and confirms your selection.

Helpful Example: If you need airtime to make an important call that costs R10 per minute, borrowing R15 would give you ample time to make the call and have some airtime left for future use.

Step 4: Follow the Prompts to Complete the Transaction

Once you’ve selected the desired airtime amount, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the transaction. You might be asked to confirm your selection and enter your Telkom PIN or password to authenticate the transaction.

Important Note: Ensure that all the details entered are correct before proceeding to avoid any issues with the transaction.

Step 5: Confirmation and Enjoy Your Borrowed Airtime

After successfully completing the transaction, you’ll receive a confirmation message indicating that your airtime has been successfully topped up. You can now use the borrowed airtime to make calls, send SMS, or access the internet as needed.

Helpful Tip: Keep track of your borrowed airtime balance to avoid unexpected interruptions during important calls or tasks.

Amounts, Fees, and Obligations

Understanding the financial aspects of borrowing airtime on Telkom is essential to make informed decisions and manage your budget effectively. In this section, we’ll explore the different amounts you can borrow, the associated fees, and your obligations as a borrower.

Range of Airtime Amounts

Telkom’s Emergency Top-Up Service offers a flexible range of airtime amounts to cater to various needs and budgets. Currently, you can borrow airtime in the range of R3 to R15.

List of Available Airtime Amounts:

  • R3
  • R5
  • R10
  • R15

Helpful Tip: Choose the amount that aligns with your immediate needs to avoid borrowing more than necessary and incurring additional fees.

Service Fee

For each Emergency Top-Up transaction, a nominal service fee of R1.10 is charged. This fee is added to the borrowed airtime amount, making it essential to consider when deciding on the amount to borrow.

Calculation Example: If you borrow R10 worth of airtime, your total obligation will be R11.10 (R10 for the airtime + R1.10 for the service fee).

Total Obligation

When you borrow airtime on Telkom, your total obligation comprises the borrowed airtime amount plus the service fee. It’s crucial to be aware of your total obligation to avoid unexpected deductions and manage your budget effectively.

Bold Reminder: Always check your remaining airtime balance to stay informed about your total obligation and avoid any service interruptions.

Usage and Limitations of Borrowed Airtime

While the Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service provides immediate assistance during times of need, there are certain usage and limitations you need to be aware of to make the most out of your borrowed airtime.

Airtime Transfer

One of the limitations of borrowed airtime is that it cannot be transferred to another Telkom number. The borrowed airtime is only usable on the number from which it was borrowed.

Personal Experience: I once borrowed airtime on Telkom thinking I could transfer it to a friend in need. To my surprise, I learned about this limitation the hard way. So, remember, borrowed airtime is non-transferable!

Call Usage

The primary purpose of borrowing airtime is to make calls, and you can certainly do that! Whether it’s a quick catch-up with a friend or an important business call, the borrowed airtime allows you to stay connected when you need it the most.

Helpful Example: Suppose you borrow R10 worth of airtime and make a call that costs R1 per minute. You can talk for up to 10 minutes without worrying about running out of airtime.

Conversion to Data

Unfortunately, borrowed airtime cannot be converted to data. If you need data, you’ll need to purchase a separate data bundle or recharge your account with data.

Bold Reminder: Plan your usage accordingly to avoid unexpected interruptions due to data limitations when using borrowed airtime.

Usage Restrictions

The Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service can only be used within the Republic of South Africa and in a Telkom network area. If you are outside of these areas, you will not be able to borrow airtime using this service.

Helpful Tip: Check your network coverage before borrowing airtime to ensure uninterrupted service and usage of the borrowed airtime.

Additional Telkom Prepaid Services

Telkom offers a wide range of prepaid services designed to cater to the diverse needs of its customers. From data bundles to voice minutes and even specialized bundles for social media and entertainment, Telkom has something for everyone. Let’s delve deeper into some of the most popular prepaid services offered by Telkom:

Overview of Telkom’s Prepaid Services

Telkom’s prepaid services are designed to provide flexibility, affordability, and control over your usage. Whether you’re a heavy data user, a frequent caller, or someone who enjoys streaming music and videos, Telkom has a prepaid service tailored to meet your needs.

List of Telkom’s Prepaid Services:

  • Data Bundles: Choose from a variety of data bundles ranging from daily to monthly plans.
  • Voice Minutes: Opt for voice minute bundles to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Specialized Bundles: Enjoy specialized bundles for social media, entertainment, and more to enhance your online experience.
  • Infinite and FlexOn Plans: Explore Telkom’s post-paid mobile plans offering unlimited calls, SMS, and generous data allowances.

Airtime Transfers for Telkom Mobile Prepaid Customers

Staying connected with loved ones is essential, and Telkom understands that. That’s why they offer airtime transfers for Telkom Mobile prepaid customers. With this service, you can transfer airtime to another Telkom Mobile prepaid number, ensuring that your friends and family can also enjoy the benefits of Telkom’s services.

Helpful Tip: Always double-check the recipient’s number before confirming the airtime transfer to avoid any mistakes.

Loyalty Funeral Cover for Prepaid Customers

As a prepaid customer, Telkom values your loyalty and wants to provide additional benefits. That’s why they offer a loyalty funeral cover exclusively for prepaid customers. This cover provides financial assistance in the event of a funeral, helping to ease the burden during difficult times.

Bold Reminder: Stay informed about the terms and conditions of the loyalty funeral cover to understand its benefits and ensure peace of mind.


The Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service is a convenient and reliable option for Telkom customers who find themselves running low or out of airtime. With a simple and straightforward borrowing process, flexible airtime amounts, and reasonable service fees, the Emergency Top-Up Service offers immediate assistance when you need it the most.

Key Takeaways:

  • Immediate Assistance: Borrow airtime instantly with the Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service.
  • Flexible Options: Choose from a range of airtime amounts to suit your immediate needs.
  • Transparent Fees: Understand the service fee and total obligation before borrowing airtime.
  • Usage Limitations: Be aware of the usage and limitations of borrowed airtime to avoid unexpected interruptions.

In addition to the Emergency Top-Up Service, Telkom offers a variety of prepaid services designed to enhance your overall experience, provide flexibility, and cater to your unique needs. Whether you need data for browsing, streaming, or staying connected on social media, or voice minutes for making calls, Telkom has you covered.

Bold Reminder: Always explore Telkom’s website or contact customer support to learn more about their prepaid services, current promotions, and exclusive offers to get the most out of your Telkom experience.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comprehensive guide on how to do airtime advance on Telkom. We hope you found it informative and helpful. Stay connected, stay informed, and enjoy uninterrupted communication with Telkom’s Emergency Top-Up Service and other prepaid services!


1. Who is eligible to borrow airtime on Telkom?

To be eligible for borrowing airtime on Telkom, customers must meet certain criteria, including being a prepaid customer or a top customer who has been using the Telkom network for at least six months, having a qualifying network risk profile, and having a sufficient number of recharges on their account.

2. How do I access the Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service?

To access the Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service, dial *180# on your Telkom mobile device, choose the “Emergency Top Up” option from the menu, select the desired airtime amount, and follow the prompts to complete the transaction.

3. What is the range of airtime amounts available for borrowing?

Telkom’s Emergency Top-Up Service allows customers to borrow airtime in the range of R3 to R15, depending on their immediate needs and eligibility.

4. Are there any fees associated with borrowing airtime?

Yes, for each Emergency Top-Up transaction, there is a service fee of R1.10, which is charged in addition to the borrowed airtime amount.

5. Can I transfer borrowed airtime to another number?

No, borrowed airtime cannot be transferred to another number. It is only usable on the number from which it was borrowed.

6. Are there any usage restrictions for borrowed airtime?

Yes, the Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service can only be used within the Republic of South Africa and in a Telkom network area. If you are outside of these areas, you will not be able to borrow airtime using this service.


  1. Telkom Emergency Top-Up Service
  2. Telkom Prepaid Services
  3. How to Borrow Airtime from Telkom
  4. Telkom Prepaid Data Bundles

Note: The information provided in this guide is based on the available resources and my understanding as of the last update. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please visit the official Telkom website or contact Telkom customer support directly.

Brief Note about the author.

Kimbowa Geofrey
Business & Financial Analyst

I am Kimbowa Geofrey, a go-getter, It is my passion that drives me in all I do but also the personal improvement that I experience.
My story started about 8 years back, trying one business to another, it wasn’t easy at the start because I didn’t get exactly what I expected out of these businesses and my frustration grew. Luckily I stumbled upon three businesses that changed my life; Web hosting, web development, and blogging.
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