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Vodacom South Africa now a standalone business

To be led by Vodafone director Balesh Sharma.
Image: Moneyweb

Vodacom Group said on Thursday it has simplified its structure and created a standalone South African business as it seeks to manage its already expanded African footprint and grow further.

Its shares rose 0.24% after the news, outperforming the wider index, which fell nearly 2%.

South Africa’s biggest telecoms company by value said in a statement it needed the new structure to manage its expanded African portfolio and growth plans on the continent, including financial and digital services.

“For Vodacom Group to play a central role of overseeing all operations across its African footprint, this has necessitated the creation of a standalone South African operating company,” the company said.

The group assumed management responsibility for Vodafone Ghana from April 1 and subsequently concluded a joint venture with Kenya’s Safaricom after buying the M-PESA brand, product development and support services from Vodafone.

Vodacom and Safaricom have also expressed interest in bidding for an Ethiopian telecommunications licence as part of a consortium. Vodacom holds a strategic stake in Safaricom.

The standalone South African business will be managed by Vodafone director Balesh Sharma, currently the director of special projects for the Vodafone Group, which is a majority-owner of Vodacom.

He will report directly to group chief executive Shameel Joosub and will join the reconstituted Vodacom Group executive committee with effect from July 1.

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