Sponsored
subscribe Support our award-winning journalism. The Premium package (digital only) is R30 for the first month and thereafter you pay R129 p/m now ad-free for all subscribers.
Subscribe now
Vodacom has long had a sign on top of the Johannesburg CBD's Ponte building, an instantly recognisable landmark in the city's skyline. Today, the advertisement is for its parent company, Vodaphone.
Vodacom has long had a sign on top of the Johannesburg CBD's Ponte building, an instantly recognisable landmark in the city's skyline. Today, the advertisement is for its parent company, Vodaphone.

Telecommunications and technology companies have played a pivotal role in shaping and transforming SA over the last three decades.

Connectivity was traditionally the realm of the fixed-line copper telephone cable, the dial-up modem and the fax machine. Today, technologies such as fibre, satellite, mobile and wireless transmission have changed the game. 

By harnessing the power of these technologies, telecommunications companies such as Vodacom have bridged the communication gap, enabling millions of South Africans to connect with each other and the world, driving economic growth, fostering innovation, and creating tens of thousands of job opportunities.

They’ve also improved access to information, education and entertainment, contributing significantly to the social and cultural development of the nation. 

Vodacom, one of the top-five telecommunications companies in this year’s Brand Africa ranking, and a top-10 South African brand, was the first network operator to obtain a licence to operate a GSM cellular network in SA in 1993. Today, it is the second-most valuable brand in the country and leads in market share and network coverage. 

“The South African story is a Vodacom story, and vice versa,” says Andisa Ntsubane, managing executive for brand and communications at Vodacom SA.

Not only has Vodacom democratised communication but also access to all our services, including free online services to SMEs through V-Hub as a brand
Andisa Ntsubane, managing executive for brand and communications at Vodacom South Africa

“Our story is one of continuous evolution. We launched a state-of-the-art 3G [high-speed downlink packet access] network in SA in 2006, were the first to launch 4G in SA in 2012, and we completed the largest BEE transaction in the telecommunications sector in 2019, among many other milestones.

“Not only have we democratised communication, but also access to all our services, including free online services to SMEs through V-Hub. As a brand, Vodacom’s story is closely intertwined with SA’s democratic story.” 

Vodacom has a long history of memorable brand communications, from the long-running Yebo Gogo advertising campaign — which featured an awkward white man in leopard print and a wise, elderly black man with an instantly recognisable laugh — to the much-loved Mo the Meerkat, who for several years was the face of Vodacom’s advertising campaigns. 

To celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, which conveniently coincides with SA's 30 years of democracy, Vodacom has revealed a new feel-good ad, which you can watch below. It takes the viewer on a time-travel journey spanning three decades that starts in 1994 and continues into the future, showing the evolution of technology against the backdrop of SA's evolving democracy.

WATCH | Vodacom's new feel-good TV ad celebrating the company's milestone 30th anniversary and '30 years of connecting people for a better life'.

“Over the last 30 years, Vodacom has had the privilege of connecting South Africans for a better future. Not only does this ad tell the story of Vodacom’s journey, but it also tells the story of SA's resilience and ingenuity,” says Ntsubane. 

This article was sponsored by Vodacom.

subscribe Support our award-winning journalism. The Premium package (digital only) is R30 for the first month and thereafter you pay R129 p/m now ad-free for all subscribers.
Subscribe now