from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
DURBAN – VODACOM has invested around R100 million (US$7,35 million) to expand its network to remote areas of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) region.
Some 84 new base station sites have been deployed in the province as part of the operator’s Rural Coverage Acceleration Programme. Funds were invested over three financial periods.
The new sites were rolled out in nine district municipalities and 14 local municipalities including Jozini, uMhlabuyalingana, uMfolozi, uMlalazi, uMsinga, uMzumbe, uMgeni, Ray Nkonyeni, Mandeni, eNdumeni, eDumbe, Msunduzi, Newcastle and Nqutu.
Ishmael Mathinya, Executive Head for Operations in Vodacom KZN, said the investment in deep rural areas enabled the company to further expand its 3G and 4G network coverage, increase data speed, and help reduce dropped-call rate.
“Critically, with these new base station sites, we have connected previously unconnected areas enabling scores of people to use innovative digital services in their daily lives that will empower themselves in a Digital Age.”
Vodacom plans to deploy 29 new rural base stations with all standard technologies across KZN in the 2021/22 financial year.
Earlier this week, Vodacom Eastern Cape Region, in partnership with the Department of Education and Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, unveiled a technology driven Agriculture and Food Security programme in over 130 underprivileged schools across the province.
The programme aims to underscore that youth can play a significant role in food security, job creation and poverty alleviation through their active participation in agriculture.
Mpumelelo Khumalo, Managing Executive for Vodacom Eastern Region, said Eastern Cape had untapped agricultural potential.
“Through this programme we hope to make the agriculture sector cool among youth and inspire many of them to take up agriculture as a fulltime vocation,” Khumalo said.
– CAJ News