SA’s pursuit of potential trillion Rand digitalisation opportunity
As digital becomes an essential part of daily life and enabling economic development and growth, it has never been more important to ensure that all people are able to not only participate in the digital economy, but to also receive the benefits of it as well.
This is according to Vodacom South Africa Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs, Taki Netshitenzhe.
Netshitenzhe references a study by Accenture on unlocking digital value for business and society which revealed that over 51% or R2.9 trillion of value can be created for society through digitalisation within key industry sectors and governments services.
She adds that creating a digital society is one of the operator’s three key purpose pillars with the objective of “connecting people to a better future by bridging the digital divide across all our markets.”
The company has publicised its goal to improve the next 100 million lives and halve their environmental impact by 2025 – and Netshitenzhe cites the company’s Sustainability Report for the year ending March 2020 as testament to its progress in enabling a digital society.
“With emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, mobile financial services, we are leveraging innovation to address poor healthcare, education, financial exclusion and the digital divide, so as to improve the lives of every citizen and help them achieve more,” says` Netshitenzhe.
According to Vodacom its 3G network coverage in South Africa is now available to 99.7% of the population, with 4G covering 95.4%.
“Vodacom’s rural coverage acceleration programme has enabled the development of 377 rural network sites, with 137 new connections in the year ending March 2020. Rural coverage provided by Vodacom now sits at 82.9% connecting communities that had previously not been connected to the internet,” the company has stated.
Netshitenzhe also underlines the company’s financial services portfolio which the operator claims continues to strengthen.
Vodacom Tanzania PLC recently announced a bonus interest payment to its mobile money users. It said over eight Million Vodacom M-Pesa customers will receive their share of the 3.5 billion profit accumulated on M-Pesa Trust Accounts as a benefit from using the service.
Customers who are eligible for the interest are the ones who transacted between January 1st to March 31st this year.
Vodacom Tanzania Director of M-Commerce, Epimack Mbeteni said the profit will be paid to all individual customers, retail agents and other M-Pesa business partners who will receive payments basing on their M-Pesa wallet transactions.
“Our mobile money service, M-Pesa, continues to be a remarkable success story, delivering significant social and financial value to Tanzanians. We have seen substantial growth on the M-Pesa platform with more customers, agents, merchants and institutions transacting more than TZS100 billion through M-Pesa each day. We are happy with the growth which is why today we can disburse 3.5 billion in interest to our customers.”
South Africa’s digital migration
Earlier this week ITWeb reported that according to communications and digital technologies minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, the country remains on track to achieve its analogue switch-off target of 2021.
ITWeb added that Ndabeni-Abrahams was responding to a report that the project’s current timeframe may be pushed beyond the March 2021 deadline, throwing a spanner in the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA’s) plans to license high-demand spectrum.
Ndabeni-Abrahams is quoted as saying: “Key to this is the rollout of the digital migration process, which we are fast-tracking and want to make sure that by March 2021 we’ve made progress, even if we have not migrated all but we should have 70%.”