Why Android updates take a while to roll out in South Africa

Lol @ waiting forever for OTA updates.

Flash a clean international version without Voda/MTN etc. bloatware and manually update as required.
Surely Android must have beta versions of the software like Apple has, which the networks can use for their testing before the final version gets released to the public?
Serious question, I don't have any experience with Android.
Google isn't the issue it's every OEM who has a different flavour, which then has to get updated as well.
My LG G4 last update November 2016 with it's locked bootloader you couldn't even flash another rom
Apple can release it because they are in charge of everything. You want to add VoWIFI or LTE or whatever, Apple will enable it in your carrier profile.

Android is very different, look at the Wifi Calling here where you can only use specified handsets with specific roms on specific providers. Also the hardware, you cannot just install a new version of the OS without it having the proper drivers/support for your device. So in those aspects you are very much dependant on the operators providing the updates, which usually means you get support for 6 months before their India outsourced dev team moves onto the next product.

That said, Android is getting better by putting a better HAL layer in place with various initiatives like Project Treble from last year.

TL;DR - Install something like LineageOS or some other ROM on your phone if you want updates.
Samsung Tab S3 is the best ever tablet man has ever had and receives Android 8.0 updates every few months and makes iPad look like junk.
makes iPad look like junk.

I think iPads are pretty decent right now.

I remember when they came out and everyone raved on them. I won an iPad 2 here actually ... could never understand why everyone was so excited. And they could never understand why I was so disappointed.

20MB app downloads ... a horrible, horrible camera ... Facetime over WiFi only ... faking addresses everywhere ... just limits on the whole device. Luckily, after 6 years of iOS updates they made this it more usable like an Android