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Vodacom Launches SA’s First Smartphone-Only Town in Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga Province


TechInAfrica – Vodacom in partnership with BPG Langfontein launches South Africa’s first smartphone only town in Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga Province. BPG Langfontein is a farming business that employs most of the people living in the town. This partnership has seen Vodacom move all of the farmworkers using 2G-featured phones to 3G devices. The deal is part of Vodacom’s mission to connect deep rural communities who still depend much on 2G-featured phones and connectivity.

Furthermore, it’s also an effort to give positive impact for low-income communities who live as farmworkers and equip them with needed tools to be part of the digital revolution. The partnership with BPG Langfontein is a pioneering movie to connect people in rural areas to improve mobile connectivity as well as devices so that they can get benefits from the revolution.

Vodacom Launches SA’s First Smartphone-Only Town in Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga Province via

“There are growing expectations for big corporates the size of Vodacom to serve a social purpose, and for us to use our resources and core capabilities to make a significant contribution in transforming the lives of ordinary people. We are helping to remove communication barriers so that citizens in the area can be part of the Digital Revolution and reap the associated benefits. By moving the more than 1400 farmworkers from 2G to 3G devices, this will also free much-needed spectrum and this spectrum can be re-farmed to provide for faster networks such as 3G and 4G,” said Zakhele Jiyane, Managing Executive for Vodacom Mpumalanga.

Jiyane continued, “Crucially, the move opens a new world of connectivity for farmworkers in Wakkerstroom. As a result, most people in the area will now be able to use the Vodacom network to connect on the net and access online government services, eHealth services such as Mum&Baby and eCommerce. Learners can now surf the internet for the first time and access Vodacom’s eSchool free of charge and those who are actively looking for jobs can start using their smartphones and tablets to apply for jobs over the internet on Vodacom’s zero-rated career sites. This will be the key to driving growth to the benefit of people living in this area.”

Vodacom Launches SA’s First Smartphone-Only Town in Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga Province. via

According to Jiyani, it was Vodacom’s high priority to provide network connectivity for rural communities as well as part of its vision to connect people regardless of their location. As part of the commitment, Vodacom has also deployed 4G-based stations in the town.

This was just the first phase of the project. The next project would be educating the farmworkers about data and the advantages of the internet. Additionally, Vodacom will also find many ways to help to empower the community with its CSI tools in the areas of education, gender-based violence, and health.



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