- The South African government is hoping to produce South African owned satellites in the next four years
- This is part of a satellite development plan that has been launched by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
- Ntshavheni plans to speed up the process of building these connectivity satellites by cutting the production from eight to 10 years
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JOHANNESBURG - The South African government has launched a development project that will see South Africa manufacturing state-owned satellites to connect all citizens to the digital space.
Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies plans to see this project coming to fruition in the next three to four years.
A satellite project of this magnitude usually takes eight to 10 years to complete, however, Ntshavheni says the department is working towards finding ways to expedite the project, according to BusinessTech.
Ntshavheni says such a big project is reliant on access to funding and the department will also approach the private sector to help fund this initiative. She added that the department is not planning on launching a single satellite.
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“Of course we cannot afford to deploy only one satellite and as government, we will coordinate the efforts of South Africa’s industry and other interested investors to even deploy South Africa-owned low orbit satellites,” said Ntshavheni.
There's a digital divide in South Africa
Ntshavheni explained that the need to launch these satellites stems from the fact that South Africa is still lagging when it comes to digitisation.
“The bulk of government administration and services is yet to be digitised," stated Ntshavheni.
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The minister stated that access to the internet has become a basic need such as water and electricity.
R13.2 Billion deal joins Vodacom to Vumatel and Dark Fibre Africa, companies will have joint control
Briefly News previously reported that Vodacom has signed an R13.2 billion deal to acquire a 30% share in the InfraCo entity that includes Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) and Vumatel.
InfraCo will consist of assets currently held by DFA and Vumatel, and once the deal is approved by regulators, Vodacom's assets will be included too.
According to MyBroadband, Vodacom might end up having a 40% share, as the network has been offered the opportunity to purchase 10% more shares. This offer will be available to Vodacom for 180 days.