Vodacom Central Region has said that it has switched on two new 3G and 4G enabled base station sites in deep rural areas in Kamiesberg Local Municipality in the Northern Cape province. The two base stations were deployed in Kamasies and Rooifontein villages that had been without network connectivity since the early 1990s.
The new sites are part of Vodacom’s Rural Coverage Acceleration Programme, aimed at expanding network coverage for people who live in deep rural areas of South Africa.
Evah Mthimunye, managing executive for Vodacom Central Region, says: “It can no longer be acceptable for people in deep rural areas to watch the internet revolution from the sidelines, they need to be active participants and reap the associated economic benefits. The network expansion will drive the advancement of economic and social conditions in the communities in which we operate. We mean serious business when we say that deep rural and township areas should have the same network experience as the people who reside in urban areas are accustomed to.”
The Kamiesberg Local Municipality is a Category B municipality situated within the Namakwa District in the Northern Cape Province. It is one of the smaller municipalities of the six that make up the district. Kamiesberg Local Municipality provides services to 16 small towns – Kamassies Rooifontein, Nourivier, Leliefontein, Paulshoek, Kamieskroon, Kharkams, Tweervier, Koiingnaas, Kheis, Soebatsfontein, Spoegrivier, Klipfontein,Garies, Hondeklipbaai and Lepelfontein. The nearest business centre is Springbok 120km away. Residents of the two villages used to travel 60km to the nearest town to make calls.
Rufus Beukes, municipal manager for Kamiesberg Municipality says: “On behalf of the municipality, I would like to express our gratitude to Vodacom for the construction of cellphone network in Kamasies and Rooifontein. This deployment has ensured that Kamiesberg Municipality could effectively communicate with these two villages regarding service delivery and has enabled the residents of the two areas to communicate with the outside world using the latest and fast mobile networks.”
The region has spent over R207m to maintain and upgrade network infrastructure across the province during the 2020/21 financial period. A total of 40 new sites were deployed during the 2020/21 financial year, the bulk of which were rolled out in deep rural areas to ensure that people in underserved parts of the country can be a part of the Internet Age and reap the economic and social benefits.