South Africa: Business Highlights of the Week - a Data Business Boost, an Underperforming Chicken Business and a Delisting Company

opinion

While Vodacom's data price cuts seem to have bolstered traffic, a chicken business stood to attention after its shareholders delivered a roasting. Meanwhile, a lacklustre share price performance caused another small company to exit the JSE.

Changing habits boost Vodacom

Vodacom's decision to cut the cost of data, under pressure from the Competition Commission, couldn't have been timed better. While there's no way it could have foreseen the impact of Covid-19 on South Africa when it announced the price cuts on 10 March, they conveniently came into effect just days after the country entered lockdown.

The network operator reported a massive 86% rise in data traffic for the six months ended September. While much of that was driven by necessity as most South Africans were forced to work, entertain and study at home, cheaper access no doubt helped. It's generally accepted that lower data prices will lead to increased usage and the price cuts hardly dented Vodacom's bottom line - it still grew local service revenue by more than 7% to R27.6-billion.

The number of South African customers using data grew by 4.1% to 22.4 million while the average usage per smart device such as cellphones linked to Vodacom's network...

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