Vodacom, has joined forces with an ICT entrepreneur in Khayelitsha to drive mobile internet connectivity in the Western Cape.
Through the partnership, Silulo Ulutho Technologies, a small entrepreneurial business focusing on ICT solutions in the townships, hopes to make Internet accessible to tens of thousands of people who currently have little or no connectivity.
Luvuyo Rani, founder of Silulo Ulutho Technologies, says that there is a high demand for basic ICT services that can benefit small businesses and local communities in townships such as Khayelitsha.
Rani built Silulo from an informal business operation selling refurnished computers from the boot of his car. It is now a multi-million rand business with 16 centres in the Western Cape, nine of which are Internet cafés and seven training centres.
Pieter Uys, Vodacom CEO, comments “This partnership is in line with our strategy to promote the growth of both entrepreneurship and the development of mobile technology in the Western Cape. Silulo will also help us to achieve our goal of putting the power of the Internet into all people’s hands and it is with this in mind that we are supporting Silulo.”
Vodacom believes that the partnership will extend the company’s footprint into non-traditional commercial areas. “By making it easy for people in townships to have access to mobile technology, we are able to extend our footprint and achieve further growth in these areas. This, coupled with the imminent introduction of more affordable smartphones will change the digital landscape and increase our market share,” says Uys.
As part of the partnership, Vodacom has refurbished two Silulo stores in Khayelitsha and has provided its own in-store products to supplement Silulo’s current ICT offerings. This will be rolled out to Silulo’s other stores as well.
Vodacom will also provide product and mobile technology training support to all of Silulo’s staff. Besides the essential mobile technology training that the staff will receive, they will also have access to Vodacom’s management and customer service training.
“Customers are central to our success and at the very heart of everything we do so it makes sense to extend our global best practice customer service and management training to our new partner and his team,” says Uys.