I’ve written about eSIMs in last couple of years covering travel, Telkom’s free offering and more recently, Vodacom now offering eSIM for prepaid customers. You can find them all here.

In my first episode covering tech on eNCA with Marcelle Gordon, I touched on how I was running two Whatsapps on my smartphone. They are two separate apps, i.e. not a clone or web shortcut, while using two different lines. It is also not the setting where you can run one number across multiple devices.

Check below for my TOP TIP on how to run 2 Whatsapp lines even if you don’t have dual SIM support.


STEP 1: Make sure your device supports an eSIM. Current smartphones that support eSIM in South Africa include the iPhone 11 upwards, Samsung Z Series, Samsung Galaxy S20 upwards, Huawei Mate 40 and P40 series, Oppo Find N2 Flip, Honor 90, and Xiaomi 12T Pro.

STEP 2: Make sure your network supports an eSIM. Okay, this is not compulsory. If you have a supported device, just get another number from any network that supports it. I first got a (free) Telkom eSIM when they launched it on prepaid in 2021. I ran it along my physical Vodacom prepaid SIM, which I converted last week to an eSIM. I now have two eSIMs running on my phone – Vodacom and Telkom; both prepaid.

STEP 3: Download Whatsapp for Business, called WA for Business on the app stores; and assuming you already have regular Whatsapp. More info here.

My iPhone running 2 networks and 2 Whatsapps

STEP 4: Use your now dual SIM smartphone to set-up the additional Whatsapp for Business line.

Important to note: you don’t need two eSIMs necessarily for this. You can also put two physical SIM cards in your phone if you have a dual SIM phone; OR you can run one eSIM and one physical SIM on a supported handset.

You no longer have to carry two phones around if you are running a business from one of them.

TOP TIP: You can also run two Whatsapps from one phone, even without dual SIM support. Before I had two SIMs on one device, I had the business SIM on another smartphone and used the security code from it to put into my iPhone and still run both. This is possible because Whatsapp for Business is a different app. If separating a business from personal line is your ultimate goal, it is doable, provided you still have access to the second line from the second smartphone for codes, etc. You just don’t have to carry both around.