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Vodacom spends R100m to connect rural areas in KZN

Vodacom Kwazulu-Natal South Africa cellphone tower base station

Vodacom has spent close to R100 million over three financial periods building 84 new base stations for previously unconnected areas in KwaZulu-Natal.

The network service provider revealed the figure in a statement on 3 June.

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The stations contribute to Vodacom’s efforts to promote digital inclusion and mobile connectivity in rural areas.

“In a bid to ensure the widest and first-class network that is accessible to all South Africans, we made a deliberate decision to invest in the region and are making great progress so that we leave no one behind,” Vodacom Kwazulu-Natal Executive Head of Operations, Ishmael Mathinya, said.

“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.”

Where are the new Vodacom KZN stations located?

Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal rolled the base stations out across nine district municipalities and 14 local municipalities in the province.

The local municipalities include Jozini, uMhlabuyalingana, uMfolozi, uMhlalazi, uMsinga, uMzumbe, uMgeni, Ray Nkonyeni, Mandeni, eNdumeni, eDumbe, Msunduzi, Newcastle, and Nqutu.

The construction forms part of Vodacom’s Rural Coverage Acceleration Programme to introduce network infrastructure outside of urban areas.

Last month, Vodacom switched on 21 new rural base stations across the Free State and Northern Cape provinces.

The infrastructure investment in KZN will assist in developing businesses and benefit over 80 communities, the company says.

Going forward, Vodacom KZN aims to achieve 4G coverage for 95% of the province’s population by the end of the 2021/2022 financial year.

Feature image: Unsplash/Gabriel Meinert

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