Author: Gugu Lourie

The case of Cell C versus its empowerment partner CellSaf has become a David and Goliath battle. CellSaf, a small lightweight empowerment partner, is battling against a heavyweight opponent backed by three conglomerates – Cell C, JSE-listed tech firm Blue Label Telecoms, and JSE and Nasdaq-listed Net 1 UEPS Technologies (Net 1). The background to this battle is rooted in 2001 when Cell C launched, and CellSaf was celebrated as a victory for empowerment owning a 40% of the mobile phone operator (which has since shrunk to 7.5% with no benefits to the shareholders). For CellSaf, however, since then, it…

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Broadband Infraco announced on Friday that the South African Government is looking to assign it as the entity that assists in the development of the ‘fibre super highway’ in Southern Africa. The state-owned entity said the SADC super highway, which is a fibre super highway, is created through the joint investment of SADC countries. “The ultimate outcome of this initiative is that at least at an infrastructure level, we can ensure that the reach of optical fibre, which is what you need for backhauling high volumes of data, reaches South Africa, but also large parts of our neighbouring countries,” said…

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The country’s competition watchdog still needs more time to investigate further before it decides whether to declare the recapitalisation of Cell C as a large merger conducted by both Blue Label Telecoms and Net 1 UEPS Technologies (Net 1). In 2017, JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms and Nasdaq-listed Net 1 completed its recapitalisation of Cell C. After that in December 2017, Cell C’s empowerment partner CellSaf submitted a complaint to the Competition Commission accusing Blue Label Telecoms and Net1 of trying to hijack and secure dominant (75%+) control of Cell C. The deal amounts to a blatant attempt at corporate capture,…

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South Africa’s Vodacom, MTN and BCX – a unit of JSE-listed Telkom – have expressed interest to buy the City of Jo’burg (CoJ) failed broadband network assets, according to sources. The network – which consists of a total of 900km of fibre, covering large parts of Johannesburg, including Orange Farm, Diepsloot, Alexandra and Soweto – is currently housed in the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC). The City wants to sell the broadband network assets to a winning bidder for between R853 million and R1 billion. The service provider will sign a 12-year contract to own the asset, maintain and upgrade it and commercialise the…

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The City of Jo’burg (CoJ) is to sell its failed broadband network assets to a winning bidder for between R853 million and R1 billion. The network – which consists of a total of 900km of fibre, covering large parts of Johannesburg, including Orange Farm, Diepsloot, Alexandra and Soweto – is currently housed in the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC). MTC is CoJ owned entity established in 1999 with no expertise of running the broadband network. Recently, MTC issued a request for bids for a single buyer who will also serve as a service provider to sell the network assets to the…

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Aerobotics, South Africa-based agritech startup, is eyeing growth opportunities in Europe as the company seeks to deploy its innovative artificial intelligence solutions to help farmers look at their farms in a smart way using drones and data analytics. While our operations headquarters is based in Cape Town, South Africa, a few months ago, we set up our commercial headquarters in Los Angeles, USA,” Tim Willis is Aerobotics’ COO, told TechFinancials. To date, Aerobotics have 10 000 hectares of paying clients in the USA, said Willis. When asked whether the startup was planning to expand into Europe, Willis said: “In terms…

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American Tower has acquired African masts business Eaton Towers for an enterprise value of $1.85bn (R27 billion) to give the New York-listed firm a bigger footprint in the fast-growing African market. The deal includes the assumption of existing Eaton Towers debt. Eaton Towers owns and operates about 5,500 communications sites across five African markets [Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Niger]. Eaton Towers was co-founded in 2009 by current CEO, Terry Rhodes. Alongside the majority shareholder, Capital International, investors include Development Partners International, Ethos and Standard Chartered. The assets are expected to generate approximately $260 million in property revenue and approximately $165 million in…

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By now everyone who cares knows that Vodacom is not keen on Yolanda Cuba as a successor to the present boss Shameel Joosub, even though having a woman at the helm would be good for the company’s inclusive culture. The South African telecoms sector, especially the mobile phone industry, exhibits a toxic masculine “bro-culture”. Having Cuba at the helm of Vodacom would most likely change the unsavoury culture of the company.  Also read: Is Vodacom’s Yolanda Cuba On The Move Again? If Joosub were to step down, who should step in to run Vodacom? Techfinancials wonders, along with many others, if Vodacom has…

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Over the last few months Avon, the largest direct-selling company in South Africa, has made remarkable progress in the implementation of its digital strategy, delivering value to its independent Representative by introducing digital stores that provide customers with a complete digital shopping experience and enabling them to fully enjoy the benefits of being in the digital era. As part of its drive to deliver a unified and distinct customer experience, Avon has focussed on perfecting its digital experience without losing the personal touch that direct-selling’s success is built on. To this end, Avon has launched a Direct Deliveries store feature…

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Avon South Africa, a leading direct-selling company, has introduced a new mobile app known as Avon ON. Avon ON is an interactive app that gives Representatives the ability to share digital brochures with their customer and create engaging content to connect with their customers. Avon ON will enable Representatives the opportunity to extend their reach, and by extension improve their earning opportunity by harness the power of technology, in line with Avon’s strategy of empowering women by providing them with innovative earning opportunities. “The new app gives expression to our brand values of empowering women by providing them with the opportunity to empower…

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