Vodacom Group revealed it will invest over ZAR60 billion (US$3.3 billion) to upgrade network resilience, maintain connectivity, and boost rural coverage in its South African unit over the next five years.
In a statement, the operator said this announcement comes after making good on its recent five-year plan to invest ZAR50 billion in 2018.
Over the last five years, Vodacom bolstered rural coverage in South Africa predominantly by building new sites and base stations. Some rural locations have not had connectivity since the 1990s.
According to Vodacom the operator boosted coverage to 95.8% in rural areas and extended its 4G and 3G population coverage to 97.94% and 99.88% respectively.
Vodacom hailed its efforts stating its connectivity had enabled children to access online educational materials and enabled SMEs to improve productivity and reduce environmental impact. Vodacom also created jobs through its construction of base stations
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub said: “Five years ago we heeded the call from President Cyril Ramaphosa to play a central role in his investment drive aimed at attracting R1.2 trillion over a five-year period. Looking back over the past five years, we believe that our initial R50 billion pledge has played a significant role in fostering digital inclusion for all and helping to unlock economic and social opportunities for South Africa."