The opening of two new Vodacom outlets in Jozini and Manguzi this week will see communities in the Umkhanyakude District Municipality gain unprecedented access to telecommunications and connectivity.
Previously, residents in these communities had to travel in excess of 300km to obtain a cellphone contract. Vodacom is the first network operator to open stores in these areas.
In addition to the new stores, Vodacom will also be constructing two new base stations and upgrading several of its existing sites in the northern KwaZulu-Natal area. This investment in the network will mean that residents will now have access to Vodacom's 3G network.
"In South Africa there is no doubt that we are in the middle of a connectivity boom with more and more people connecting to the Internet. As a company we are proud to be able to provide the residents of the Umkhanyakude District Municipality with both an improved customer experience at our new stores and access to our world-class 3G network," said Alberts Breed, Vodacom's KZN managing executive.
Impact on economic growth
The new developments are expected to have an immediate impact upon the economic growth of the region, with residents now able to communicate with their customers, and market their own products and services online with relative ease.
Managed by the Supatrade Spar Group, the two new Vodacom outlets will offer a host of services not previously available in the region. These include Vodacom Enterprise products like broadband satellite and Office 365. Additionally, the partnership between Vodacom and Supatrade Spar Group will also see customers benefiting from combined grocery and Vodacom contract specials.
"Through this partnership customers can feel confident that they will have available to them all the Vodacom specials seen in the more developed urban areas while still having their needs catered for," said Darrell Price Jones, administrative director of the Supatrade Spar Group.
"What's more, small business operators and entrepreneurs will benefit from lower transport and downtime costs associated with the lengthy trip to Richards Bay to attend to their communication needs. The opening of these two new stores is indicative of Vodacom's commitment to provide cellular services to all, irrespective of where you reside," said Price Jones.