Remgro’s CIVH remains interested in the Woan

CIVH CEO Raymond Ndlovu

Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH), the Remgro-controlled parent of fibre players Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) and Vumatel, remains interested in participating in government’s planned wholesale open-access network (Woan).

This is despite the delays in licensing the Woan and allocating it – and the rest of the industry – access to so-called “high-demand spectrum” to deploy network infrastructure.

In an interview with TechCentral, CIVH chief technology officer Andries Delport – who will take the reins as CEO of DFA later this year from Thinus Mulder – said there has been no change in opinion around the Woan and CIVH remains interested in participating.

CIVH CEO Raymond Ndlovu concurred and said, if anything, parent Remgro is encouraging the team to “get on with it”. He said, however, that the industry is “concerned about the length of time” it is taking to license the Woan and warned litigation brought to Telkom and MTN against communications regulator Icasa over its planned spectrum auction is also a worry as it could lead to lengthy delays in the process.

New name for CIVH

The Woan is a government construct meant to spur more services competition in the telecommunications industry by reducing costs for smaller players to get access to infrastructure so that they can compete more effectively with the industry’s two biggest players, Vodacom and MTN. Though the brainchild of government, the state will not hold equity in the Woan. Rather, it wants private sector players to invest.

Meanwhile, Ndlovu said CIVH plans to unveil a new name for the company but it waiting for the opportune time to do so. “We completed the exercise (coming up with a new brand identity for CIVH)) but decided to hold back for a number of reasons. It is ready to go, but we decided the timing (wasn’t quite right),” he said. – © 2021 NewsCentral Media

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