The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has agreed to invest R50m to support local broadband service provider iBurst’s nationwide network expansion, it said on Monday.
"DBSA has a mandate to advance economic growth and regional economic integration and it considers ICT development as a key enabler of this goal.
As such, DBSA is delighted to help facilitate iBurst’s network expansion throughout South Africa," said Simon McGill, DBSA’s principal investment officer on the project.
He added that with iBurst being a black-owned enterprise, DBSA’s investment in the project is also in line with the bank’s mandate to drive broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE), particularly in the ICT sector where transformation has been sluggish.
According to McGill, DBSA will fund half of the total capital expenditure of R100m that has been earmarked for infrastructure expansion. Investec will fund the other half.
He explained that iBurst already has 76 live base stations across the country but, with its subscriber-base expanding rapidly and to comply with its licensing obligations to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), extending and expanding its transmission infrastructure has become a top priority for iBurst.