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Fibre entities Vumatel, DFA now known as Maziv companies

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 30 Sept 2022

Remgro-owned Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH) has unveiled the identity of the parent company of its two fibre network assets – Vumatel and Dark Fibre Africa (DFA). Both will now be known as companies of Maziv.

This, after in May, the company merged the two fibre entities into one infrastructure company.

Dietlof Mare and Byron Billett, executives of Vumatel, were appointed chief executive officer and chief financial officer, respectively, of the new infrastructure company.

Andries Delport continues as chief executive officer of DFA, and at the time, CIVH said he will be an integral part of the infrastructure company management committee.

CIVH chairman Pieter Uys says: “This is revealed amidst impressive market performances by both operating companies within the CIVH group, with a 4.1% growth of DFA revenue to R2.5 billion – a result of the brand’s annuity income increase to R198 million per month as of 31 March 2022, from R192 million per month in the previous year. Subscriber growth was the main driver behind Vumatel’s substantial 26.3% revenue increase, to R3 billion.”

Earlier this week, Remgro recorded a double-digit upsurge in key performance metrics in fiscal year 2022, with the infrastructure division, which houses its fibre assets, gaining steam in the period.

According to Mare, now CEO of both Vumatel and Maziv, the concept behind the newly-revealed parent company name – taken from the Greek “mazí”, which translates to “together” – encompasses the essence and identity of the growing entity perfectly.

The new brand comes after Vodacom in November last year acquired a co-controlling equity stake in CIVH’s fibre assets, in a deal that is set to hasten the telco’s plans to dominate SA’s connectivity market.

Vodacom will, through a combination of assets of approximately R4.2 billion and cash of at least R6 billion, acquire up to 40% of the ordinary shares of a newly-created, wholly-owned subsidiary of CIVH, which will hold CIVH’s current interests in Vumatel and DFA.

The proposed transaction is still subject to various conditions precedent, inter alia regulatory approvals.

About the consolidation, Mare says: “The strategic direction of Maziv, and its leading fibre market assets, Vumatel and DFA, will see the future path of the business continue to grow in its South African network coverage, and as a leader in the fibre-to-the-home, fibre-to-the-business and fibre-to-the-tower sectors.

“As the fibre market evolves and becomes a critical part of our country’s infrastructure, so do the exponential growth opportunities for Maziv and its subsidiaries. While Vumatel and DFA continue to operate as separate entities, the intentional formation of this parent company was a strategic move to streamline operations and consolidate infrastructure assets seamlessly, under one aligned strategy,” Mare says.

CIVH says organisational and structural changes have seen the two brands collaborating much more closely – proving to be a winning strategy for the organisations and their parent entities.

“Under the umbrella of Maziv, the DFA and Vumatel brands will grow from strength to strength in this highly-competitive marketplace, offering unique and unsurpassed capabilities,” Mare continues.

“Since its inception in 2014, Vumatel has passed over 1.6 million South African homes, and connected over 600 schools across our communities with free, 1GBps uncapped fibre – supporting hundreds of thousands of learners and educators.”

CIVH adds that DFA, which serves as the premier open access enterprise fibre provider to large telco and internet service providers in the country, continues to build on its current 13 800km of fibre assets.

Looking to the future, Mare explains: “Our focus for the South African market will always be to not only connect communities and sectors, but to be a driving force behind the innovation and economic stimulation that connectivity enables.

“This organisational streamlining, as well as close brand collaboration between Vumatel and DFA, will enable us to create even more opportunities for inclusive, abundant access to the internet − unlocking the potential of people and communities, and creating the beginning of the end of the digital divide,” Mare concludes.