Vodacom is the leading mobile provider in South Africa, and also has operations in several other African countries including Mozambique, the Congo, Tanzania and Kenya; the latter via a minority stake in leading local operator Safaricom. It is the main regional arm of Vodafone's global network in sub-Saharan Africa, controlled via what is now a 61% shareholding. The remaining shares are mostly public. The business was previously an equal joint venture with state-controlled fixed line operator Telkom, but that group sold its 50% stake in 2008, a move subsequently considered to be a disastrous mistake since it left the company without any mobile operations. (Telkom has subsequently rebuilt a small position in the market but remains the smallest by far of the big four operators). Vodacom had a total of 116m customers across the continent by March 2020, including 41.3m in South Africa and 35.6m in Kenya via minority-owned Safaricom. Local share in South Africa was equivalent to around 45% in 2019, ahead of MTN (27%), Cell C (14%) and Telkom (12%). However, MTN has a larger share of the more lucrative contract market. Group revenues for the year to 2020 were approx $6.3bn, of which over three-quarters was generated in South Africa. Tanzania is its next biggest territory. Shameel Joosub is group CEO.
Capsule checked 18th May 2020
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