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Public policy

How Vodacom wants to contribute to society

At Vodacom, we connect for a better future. We recognise that we have a fundamental role to play in a digital society. Wherever we operate, we contribute to the wealth and development of countries, regions and local communities. As the leading player of the “sector of sectors”, Vodacom sparks the development of digital services by others and propel other businesses to be successful in their own digital transformation.

Our ambition is to improve one billion lives through an inclusive digital society, while halving our environmental impact by 2025.

To help guide Vodacom towards its purpose, we developed a Social Contract with three guiding principles of purpose – Trust, Fairness and Leadership.

We are committed to meeting our obligations in this commitment of the three principles. The guiding principles of purpose demonstrate our commitment to customers, companies, governments and regulators, helping us to restore customer trust, to improve services, to form new partnerships and seek better collaborations with government and regulators to create the best conditions for the industry. We are optimistic about a digital society. We believe that internet for all brings new technologies, innovation, better products and improved services.

Our goal is to lead using new technologies to help build prosperous economies, strong communities and a sustainable planet as we create an inclusive digital society.

Principle 1: Trust

  • Consumer trust
  • Digital society
  • Micro regulations

We have a responsibility to our customers to provide affordable, clear, easy to use products and services, transparent pricing and freedom of choice. In South Africa, Vodacom has attempted to simplify and provide affordable products to customers, hence the significant reduction in out-of-bundle prices of 50%.

The proliferation of mobile phones and enhanced internet access has been invaluable in increasing access to low-cost financial services such as payments, savings, transfers, insurance and others. We care about the population that has been excluded financially and therefore implemented payment solutions such as Vodapay and M-Pesa that provide an alternative to traditional financial models.

Our trust pillar extends to those who should, but may not have to date, benefitted from the digitalisation. In our operating environment, significant proportions of the younger generation find themselves without employment or in unproductive or informal jobs, with significant negative effects on the future prospect of these individuals and of their societies. We have committed to providing digital solutions such as e-School that will help young people to access quality education.

Finally, our trust pillar extends to our planet. The digital society, powered by enormous amounts of data and computing is unavoidably energy intensive. We understand the negative impacts caused by climate change and also that the people who will be most affected by climate change are the poor and vulnerable.

Principle 2: Fairness

Vodacom recognises the quality and availability of mobile and fixed networks are the foundation of digitalising economies and societies. Access to digital infrastructure is in itself transformative and can help plant the seeds of growth in previously deprived areas and communities, helping people to improve their livelihoods and businesses to flourish. With affordability, quality and access – particularly in rural and remote areas – as key deliverables for governments and regulators, the time has come for us to work together to address the current infrastructure and investment gaps.

Our commitment is to deploy our networks and services in a manner that supports public objectives. In South Africa Vodacom has pledged to invest R50 billion in infrastructure over the next five years, with a specific focus to increase 4G rural penetration and rollout 5G, opening up exciting new opportunities for entrepreneurial activity.

Principle 3: Leadership

Vodacom is in the business of transforming lives and should own this as its identity. The transformation to a digital society can feel, for many, like a journey into unchartered territory. We are optimistic about the benefits and opportunities of a digital society but also recognise the need for leadership and partnership to lead the way to realise the full potential of digitalisation.

Our leadership and expertise in technology, networks, connectivity, platforms and services has transformed people’s lives. The fact that Vodacom democratised telecoms by inventing prepaid, the work that the Vodacom Foundation does and the many other digital solutions demonstrate Vodacom’s lead in transforming lives.

Vodacom has become one of the largest service providers in mobile and fixed broadband, an innovator in Internet of Things (IoT) that transforms lives and a leader of mobile financial services and connectivity.

Policy positions

Learn about Vodacom policy positions on spectrum policy, interoperability, infrastructure and competition.

Learn more