Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH) recently announced that its CTO Andries Delport would take over as DFA CEO from Thinus Mulder on 1 October 2021.
CIVH CEO and DFA chairman Raymond Ndlovu said Delport would immediately become more involved in DFA’s operations during the transition period. CIVH owns Vumatel and DFA.
Delport is one of South Africa’s most experienced telecommunications executives, having spent close to 25 years at Vodacom.
He is one of the key people who helped build Vodacom into South Africa’s most successful telecoms operators.
Delport left Vodacom in 2020 to join CIVH as chief technology officer to oversee Remgro’s telecommunication assets.
He joined former Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys at CIVH. Uys now serves as chairman of the telecommunications company.
Delport started his career at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) after completing a BSc in Electronic Engineering in 1986.
His career-defining move came in 1996 when he joined Vodacom as a radio planning manager.
A year later, he was promoted to head of Vodacom’s network in the Northern region and, in the same year, he became the head of Vodacom’s radio operations.
His rapid rise at the company continued. In 1999 he was promoted to general manager of operations and later served as Vodacom’s director of Gauteng.
The photo below from 2000 shows Delport — in the blue shirt to the right — as part of the Vodacom executive team.
Delport joined the top ranks at the company in the 2000s when he became COO of Vodacom South Africa.
He later served as executive director of mobile operations and executive director of engineering and technology.
The photo below, taken in 2003, shows Delport with Alan Knott-Craig, Pieter Uys, Chris Ross, Johan Engelbrecht, and Barry Vlok.
Delport was instrumental in Vodacom’s launch of 3G in December 2004.
His team built 500 sites in a matter of weeks to ensure South Africa had 3G in time for the December holidays.
He was also a key person behind Vodacom’s network preparation for the 2010 World Cup.
In 2011 Delport became Vodacom Group Chief Technology Officer, a position which we held until his move to CIVH in 2020.
During his time at the company, Vodacom launched South Africa’s first country-wide 4G network — which was rolled out within 16 weeks.
He unveiled the new 4G service at the annual MyBroadband Conference in October 2012, dressed as The Stig.
He is photographed here with Shameel Joosub and Jannie van Zyl, who also participated in the launch.
Vodacom became the first network in Africa to launch 5G in 2018, only weeks after the required equipment became available.
The 5G service, launched in Lesotho, uses 3.5GHz spectrum to deliver fixed-wireless access with speeds peaking at over 700Mbps.
Building on its work with 5G, Vodacom delivered a virtual reality viewing experience for the Durban July in 2018.
The demonstration used a 5G network to stream live 4K footage from the Greyville racecourse.
After a year at CIVH, Delport is moving to a new challenge — heading up DFA.
DFA is an open-access fibre infrastructure and connectivity provider in South Africa that finances, builds, and manages a fibre network to transmit metro and long-haul telecommunications traffic.
The company started to roll out its fibre network in 2007 and has to date deployed over 14,000km of ducting infrastructure in metros, secondary cities, and smaller towns.
It is the first time Delport will head up a company, but this should be a breeze considering his extensive experience in the telecoms market.
“Andries is an astute technical and commercial leader, and CIVH has full confidence in his capabilities and industry pedigree in leading DFA forward,” Ndlovu said.