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|Traded as||JSE: VOD|
|Headquarters||Johannesburg, South Africa|
|Shameel Joosub (CEO)
Peter Moyo (Chairman)
|Revenue||US$5.402 billion (2015)|
|US$1.27 billion (2015)|
|US$850 million (2015)|
|Total assets||US$4.307 billion (2015)|
|Total equity||US$2.643 billion (2015)|
Number of employees
Vodacom Group Limited (Vodacom) is an African mobile communications company, providing voice, messaging, data and converged services to over 55 million customers. From its roots in South Africa, Vodacom has grown its operations to include networks in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, and Lesotho and provides business services to customers in over 40 African countries such as Nigeria, Zambia, Angola, Kenya, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, and Cameroon. It was owned on a 50:50 basis by the South African telecommunications group Telkom and the British mobile phone operator Vodafone. On 6 November 2008 Vodafone announced that it had agreed to increase its stake to 65%, and Telkom said that it would spin off its remaining holding by listing it on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. On April 1, 2011, Vodacom officially unveiled its new change in branding from blue to red, using the same style as its parent company, Vodafone.
Vodacom provides coverage to Mount Kilimanjaro, which used to make it the highest point in the world to be covered by GSM. It no longer is, as TeliaSonera now provides coverage at the top of Mount Everest, the highest point in the world. Vodacom was aided by its optimistic advertisements at the early stages of the democratic South Africa, this includes the yebo gogo campaign which is still in effect today in South Africa. Vodacom is the leading cellular network in South Africa with an estimated market share of 58% and more than 23 million customers.
Vodacom provides 3G, 4G, and UMTS networks in South Africa, and also offers HSPA+ 21.1 Mbit/s, HSUPA (2100 MHz), 42 Mbit/s., Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and LTE services. Vodacom was the first cellular provider to introduce LTE in South Africa. On 21 October 2015 Vodacom launched its Fibre to the Home service. On 7 April 2017, Vodacom's 4G+ network in Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria achieved 240Mbs in a speed test.
Vodacom is a sponsor of South African sports. In provincial rugby union, they are the sponsors of the Pretoria-based Vodacom Blue Bulls. Vodacom was the primary sponsor of the South African Shelby Can-Am series between 2000 and 2005.
In soccer they sponsor two clubs in the Premier Soccer League, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. They also sponsor the South African Football Association and the national teams Bafana Bafana (men), Amajita (under 20's), and previously Banyana Banyana (women). However, MTN was the sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa.
In October 2013, Vodacom announced it would be acquiring Neotel in a potential $590 million deal. Even though regulatory approval by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa was obtained in 2015, the deal ultimately collapsed in March 2016 after competitors successfully challenged the transfer of Neotel's licenses and spectrum to Vodacom in court.
On May 17, 2009, a court dismissed a joint COSATU and ICASA application to stop Vodacom's JSE listing. Chegoane Mabelane, the South African article writer and prominent supporter of both African National Congress and its alliance; in one of his articles stated that the interdict to stop listing was fair.
In January 2010 the Sunday Times alleged that Alan Knott-Craig (Senior), former Vodacom CEO, helped his son, Alan Knott-Craig with business ventures using Vodacom resources. He also allegedly awarded a multi-million-rand contract to a marketing and advertising company run by family members.
In 2008, former employee Nkosana Makate took Vodacom to court, claiming that the profitable Please Call Me message service was originally his invention and demanding compensation. Eight years later, Makate eventually won his case in the Constitutional Court. Makate will now enter negotiations with Vodacom for a 15% cut of the R70 billion he claims 'Please Call Me' has earned for Vodacom since its inception.
A 2014 judgement in the South Gauteng High Court supported Makate's claim to having originated Please Call Me. The court heard that, in November 2000, Makate had shared his idea (initially termed the "buzz" idea) with Philip Geissler, then board member and director of product development and management at Vodacom. Geissler had agreed to give Makate a cut should the Please Call Me innovation prove a success (There was no such agreement, written, oral, or implied - and no evidence to support it). Makate's witnesses presented emails sent by Geissler (Geissler was never called to testify by either party, raising suspicion that both parties would not have benefited from what Geissler would say under oath). and an article in Vodacom's "Talk Time" internal newsletter (such newsletter was written, edited, and printed by a 3rd party in Cape Town) which acknowledged and praised Makate for his idea and his contribution to the product.
The court also rejected former CEO Alan Knott-Craig (Senior)'s claim that he had come up with the idea. Knott-Craig had published the claim in his autobiography, and later repeated in court, that he had the idea while watching two security guards trying to communicate on phones without airtime. Yet the High Court found against Makate's claim for compensation, holding Vodacom's argument that Geissler had not had the authority to promise Makate such compensation and that the debt would have expired (in legal terms, been prescribed) within three years.
Makate took the case on appeal, and then took it to the Constitutional Court. In April 2016 Justice Chris Jafta found in Makate's favour and against Vodacom, overturning both judgements and finding that Geissler had had the authority to promise compensation, and that Makate's case was not based on an unpaid debt. In Jafta's words: “In not compensating the applicant [Makate]… Vodacom associated itself with the dishonourable conduct of its former CEO, Mr Knott-Craig and his colleague, Mr Geissler (Given that Geissler was never called to testify in any of the trials related to this issue, how could any court make any claims as to any of his actions - specifically the Constitutional Court's unsubstantiated claim that he was associated with dishonourable conduct?) and this leaves a sour taste in the mouth. It is not the kind of conduct to be expected from an ethical corporate entity,”.
In an open letter to Makate on Facebook, civic society NPO Right2Know congratulated Makate. Right2Know used the letter to draw attention to the hypocrisy of multinational corporations which claim to support young black South African innovators such as Makate, but whose anti-competitive practices often strangle meaningful innovation. The letter also drew attention to the fact that South Africa's telecoms duopoly (Vodacom-MTN) had led to the kind of unaffordable tariffs which made the Please Call Me service so successful with impoverished consumers in the first place.
As at March 2014, the companies that comprised the Vodacom Group include, but are not limited, to the following:
|Rank||Name of Owner||Percentage Ownership|
|1||Vodafone Investments SA (Pty) Limited||65.00|
|2||South African Government||13.91|