Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini plans to launch his mobile network, Bayede Mobile, on 1 November 2019.
King Zwelithini has previously been quoted as saying that he is launching Bayede Mobile to bring connectivity to poorer communities.
“I want to be part of a movement that helps provide an affordable solution for the poor and marginalised in their use of technology, allowing them the opportunity to connect and empower themselves,” said Zwelithini.
Director of Bayede Mobile, Jane Nkadimang, said the network will target a limited number of rural towns and villages in KwaZulu-Natal.
“This project is one of its kind and we hope to launch it by November 1 this year with a limited number of rural communities as subscribers to the network,” said Nkadimang.
“We will soon have marketing activations in various villages and towns in KZN. We encourage communities to come together and form social groupings so that they can benefit.”
“And the best thing is that whatever profit that we make will be ploughed back to the community through various community development projects such as clinics and learning centres.”
Nkadimang added that in the long run, Bayede hopes to roll out its product to other provinces.
Investing in the network
The network will operate as an MVNO on Cell C and MTN’s networks, and will reportedly offer an affordable flat rate to customers – although pricing has not yet been made public.
“Bayede Mobile is a groundbreaking project not only for the benefit of the Zulus but South Africa as a whole,” said Zwelithini.
“In the near future, I hope to bring on board other investors interested in uplifting the rural community.”
He added that pharmaceutical companies in India are interested in joining the project, and believes that this will strengthen ties between the Zulu people and the Indian community.
Zwelithini already runs several businesses under the “Bayede” name, including entities operating in the fields of property, wine, and tourism.