(Ecofin Agency) - South Africa hosted its first investment conference from October 25 to 27, 2018. At the time, Vodacom committed to investing ZAR50 billion over five years to upgrade and expand its network infrastructure in the country.
Pan-African telecoms company Vodacom Group announced on Friday (April 14) its commitment to investing ZAR60 billion ($3.3 billion) in its South African operations over the next five years. The initiative was unveiled at the fifth South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) held the previous day in Johannesburg.
Among other things, the investment aims to significantly improve the resilience of Vodacom SA's network. The group also wants to accelerate coverage in rural areas to help bridge the digital divide and strengthen financial inclusion in the rainbow nation.
The committed investment is needed immediately as South African telecom operators struggle to keep their networks up and running and ensure continued delivery of quality services to subscribers amid the energy crisis. In addition, Vodacom needs to pursue its investment programs to cover rural areas, which host a sizeable number of potential telecom subscribers, to strengthen its leadership position in the national telecom market against competition from MTN.
That committed investment is in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa's (photo, left) ambition of attracting ZAR2 trillion in investment over the next five years to support overall national development goals.
In October 2018, Vodacom promised to invest ZAR50 billion in its South African operations over five years. The company wanted to upgrade and expand its network infrastructure and launch fifth-generation (5G) mobile technology. The group claims to have successfully achieved the desired goals.
Isaac K. Kassouwi