2018 has been an eventful year in South Africa, with big changes in the country’s political and business landscapes.
Former president Jacob Zuma resigned to let President Cyril Ramaphosa take over, and with it came a clean-up operation of cabinet, state-owned enterprises, and the justice system.
These changes also touched the business world, with Gupta-linked executives and companies implicated in corruption facing the music.
It was, however, not only doom and gloom. There were many uplifting stories, especially in the ICT space.
Vodacom launched the first commercial 5G service in Africa, while Rain Mobile brought more competition to the South African mobile data market.
To see who was behind many of these developments, we compiled a list of the biggest South African ICT newsmakers of 2018.
Michael Jordaan is behind some of the most prominent companies which launched innovative new services this year, including Rain Mobile and Bank Zero. He wants to disrupt traditional business models and may well achieve it with these ventures.
In November President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the Department of Communications and the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services will be merged. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams now heads up the new merged department, and will serve as the Minister of Telecommunications.
Calvin Collett is the managing director of Supersonic, which launched its new fibre-to-the-home products on 3 September 2018. Supersonic initially launched on the MTN, Openserve, and Vumatel fibre networks, with more fibre infrastructure providers to follow soon.
Laurie Fialkov is the founder and CTO of Cybersmart, which is behind the launch of South Africa’s best-ever fibre-to-the-home products.
In September, Cybersmart Lightspeed launched a 500Mbps uncapped fibre-to-the-home product for R899 per month, with the ability to change the upload and download speed on demand via an online portal.
Serame Taukobong took over as Telkom’s new CEO of small business and consumer in May after Attila Vitai left the company. He said his focus will be on addressing issues of poor service and will strive to give customers a great experience with the company.
In June, CIVH acquired 34.9% of Vumatel and entered into an agreement to acquire the remaining 65.1% of the business. In the build-up to the deal, Vumatel announced that Dietlof Mare had joined the company as its new CEO – replacing Niel Schoeman.
Stephen van Coller
EOH Holdings appointed Stephen van Coller as its new chief executive officer this year. Van Coller joined EOH on 1 September 2018, following the end of his term as an MTN group executive.
Jonas Bogoshi took over as CEO of BCX after Ian Russell resigned. Bogoshi joined BCX in April and has extensive experience in the areas that the company is looking to grow, including the public sector – which makes up 35% of BCX’s revenue.