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New contract sees all of SA’s telcos servicing govt departments

23rd April 2021

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The National Treasury has split the contract for the provision of mobile communications services to government departments – previously the monopoly of Vodacom – among the country's four telecommunications groups.

The new RT15-2021 transversal contract, which came into effect on April 1, followed the appointment by the National Treasury’s RT15 bid evaluation committee of Vodacom, MTN South Africa, Cell C and Telkom as service providers to government for the next five years.

The contract award was the culmination of a process that started in October 2020, when the National Treasury issued a request for proposals for the delivery of communications services from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2026, replacing the RT15-16, which was awarded exclusively to Vodacom in 2016.

The RT15-16, which was due to end on September 1, 2020, was extended until March 31, 2021.

The RT15-2021 transversal contract allows all entities of State to use the contract for mobile communication services.

Under the contract, the four telecommunications companies are required to provide mobile services, such as voice minutes, uncapped data without applying a fair-use policy, SMSes and mobile devices necessary to connect to the network, as well as value-added services and accessories, which both must complement the mobile services.

The National Treasury secured eight types of mobile packages, including the government-exclusive Naledi Gold and Naledi Platinum from Telkom, Epic and Pinnacle Plans from Cell C, Enterprise Sharing and Business All-Day from MTN and Always Connected Work Plus and Always Connected Anytime from Vodacom.

“Through the previous contract, we successfully delivered significant financial benefits in cost savings, expedited and streamlined procurement of services and ushered unprecedented digitalisation of government departments, agencies, State-owned entities and municipalities,” says Vodacom Business CEO William Mzimba.

Vodacom Business provided information technology and business solutions and increased the number of mobile lines available, with its partnership with government resulting in the improved delivery of education using digital technologies during the Covid-19 lockdowns, enhanced citizen engagement and revenue assurance in municipalities through smart metering technologies and Internet of Things solutions for smart asset management and fleet management.

“Our solutions demonstrated that mobile applications are core to the acceleration of government-to-citizen digital service delivery. We are excited to once again have the opportunity to do more together with government.”

The scale of government’s requirements has allowed MTN to develop industry-leading systems and innovative pricing and products that will not only add value to the State but also significantly improve on existing mobile telecommunications service delivery, while allowing for a high degree of control of spend by the individual entities, says MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa.

“In addition, there are vital operations that must be maintained, such as air operations, the needs of the special task force, sea, rail, satellite and other critical functions,” adds MTN South Africa chief enterprise officer Wanda Matandela.

Meanwhile, Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson says the award marks a significant milestone for Cell C, as it is a testament to the company’s understanding of the needs of government and tailoring innovative solutions that matter to them, with extra value.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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