Vodacom has pledged to invest US$3.3bn in South Africa over the next five years, having delivered on its promise to invest US$2.6bn over five years in 2018
This latest substantial investment is expected to contribute significantly to enhancing network resilience to keep customers connected, further accelerating Vodacom's deep rural coverage programme to help bridge the digital divide and deepening financial inclusion.
The announcement was made at the fifth South African Investment Conference held at the Sandton Convention Center.
Over the past five years Vodacom has made significant improvements to deep rural network coverage in line with their vision to connect everyone in South Africa, regardless of location. This has primarily been achieved through investing in additional network sites and base stations in remote areas, some of which have not had network coverage since the early 1990s. As it stands, Vodacom has helped improve coverage to 95.8% of the rural population as well as extending their 4G and 3G population coverage to 97.94% and 99.88% respectively.
Through these investments the country has enjoyed improved access to digital skills, benefitting various communities. Through connectivity, children now have access to learning materials, such as e-school, small medium business owners can access better opportunities, as well as farmers who can access platforms which aid in improving productivity, finding new opportunity, and reducing environmental impact. Additionally, Vodacom has contributed to creating employment in these areas through the likes of building of base stations, and offered active job seekers the chance to benefit from our zero-rated job search portals.