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Vodacom registers over 12 % revenue drop

Vodacom Group Chief Executive Officer, Shameel Joosub


May 21, 2021 3 min read

3 min read


IN a year inevitably shaped by the devastating impacts of the global health crisis, Vodacom Lesotho has registered a 16.5 percent drop in Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA

The company’s revenue also declined by 12.2 percent.

This has been revealed by Vodacom Group Limited in its annual results for the year ended March 31, 2021, which were released on Tuesday.

Vodacom Group Limited is a leading African communications company providing a wide range of communication services, including data, mobile and voice, messaging, financial and converged services to 123.7 million customers, including Safaricom.

Through Vodacom Business Africa (VBA), the group offers business-managed services to large, medium and small enterprises in 29 countries.

In Lesotho, the group owns 80 percent stake in Vodacom Lesotho while a local company, Sekhametsi Investment Consortium owns the remaining 20 percent shares.   

According to the company’s annual results, the 16.5 percent drop in the EBITDA represents M517 million decline, against the M619 million in 2020 financial year.

Revenue declined by 12.2 percent as the company registered M12 410 billion drop against the M13.8 billion in the 2020 fiscal year.

While the group did not go into full details regarding the decline, its Chief Executive Officer, Shameel Joosub revealed that the Vodacom Group has been at the forefront of helping governments curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic where it operates.  

“We made a R13 million donation to Lesotho to assist with securing vaccines for Basotho,” Mr Joosub revealed.

Since 2019, Vodacom Lesotho has been involved in a bitter fight with the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) in which the latter is accusing the communications giant of deliberate non-compliance, dishonesty and lack of remorse towards the country’s laws. 

In December that year, LCA issued a notice of enforcement proceedings against Vodacom Lesotho on the basis of its opinion of non-independence of the company’s previous external auditors.

In February 2020, the LCA directed Vodacom Lesotho to show cause why its communications license should not be withdrawn.


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In May, following several engagements with the LCA, Vodacom Lesotho made written representations against the revocation of its license and in September, the LCA notified Vodacom Lesotho that it was to be fined M134 million, 70 percent of which was suspended for five years. 

On October 8, the LCA issued a notice of revocation of the operating license of Vodacom Lesotho, a move which prompted Vodacom to launch an application in the Lesotho High Court to have both determinations of the LCA imposing the fine of M134 million and revoking its operating license reviewed and set aside.

The Lesotho High Court has in the meantime issued an interim order interdicting the LCA from, among others, enforcing the payment of the said fine and revoking Vodacom Lesotho’s operating license.

The matter was heard in the High Court in December 2020 and judgment is pending.

 

 

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