African Rainbow buys into Metrofibre

African Rainbow Capital, whose directors include billionaire Patrice Motsepe and former Sanlam CEO Johan van Zyl, has acquired a significant minority stake in the fibre broadband provider.

Patrice Motsepe (image: World Economic Forum)

Patrice Motsepe (image: World Economic Forum)

Metrofibre Networx, the fibre broadband company led by former Absa CEO Steve Booysen, has secured a new shareholder in the form of African Rainbow Capital (ARC), whose directors include billionaire Patrice Motsepe and former Sanlam CEO Johan van Zyl.

ARC has acquired an 18,1% stake in Metrofibre for an undisclosed sum, the telecommunications company said on Monday.

ARC is a subsidiary of Ubuntu-Botho Investments (UBI), a broad-based black empowerment investment holding company created in 2004 with the purpose of being Sanlam’s empowerment partner.

The shareholders of UBI include women’s groups, churches, trade unions, youth groups and traditional and community leaders.

ARC’s directors include Motsepe, Van Zyl and former Sanlam Investments CEO Johan van der Merwe.

“We believe that through our new partnership with African Rainbow Capital and the capital injection their investment into our business provides we will be able to further grow and expand our network and service offerings,” said Booysen in a statement.

Metrofibre Networx provides fibre broadband to both businesses and home users in Gauteng.

Most recently, it was awarded a contract to deliver fibre-to-the-home broadband to 1 100 homes in Kyalami Estates, north of Johannesburg.

Metrofibre’s residential offerings include network connectivity of up to 1Gbit/s. It also offers symmetrical broadband, meaning upload speeds are the same as download speeds. Its network is open access, meaning it is open to all Internet service providers.

The company fibre footprint now includes Kyalami, Sunninghill, Barbeque Downs, Lonehill, Beaulieu, Heathcliff and Blue Hills estates, Glenferness, as well as parts of Paulshof, Sandton and Rivonia.

Steve Booysen

Steve Booysen (image supplied by Metrofibre Networx)

The company is expanding its customer base in Lonehill after completing a network build through the centre of Lonehill where it connects to its core route in Witkoppen Road.

“Various projects are underway at the moment with an expected 2 000 homes in Lonehill to make use of Metrofibre’s services before the end of 2016,” the company said.

Witkoppen route

“The Witkoppen route enables Metrofibre to access Broadacres, Kengies and Chartwell as well as the Dainfern area, with these builds nearing completion. More than 20 estates in these areas have already signed agreements with Metrofibre and site deployment is scheduled to start in the middle of March,” it added.

Various projects in Paulshof will be completed in the next quarter, it said. Expansion to its existing footprint in Rivonia and Edenburg will also take place before the third quarter of 2016 and the first estates and residential areas there are being installed.

On the southern side of Witkoppen Road, the company is installing fibre at various estates and office parks in Douglasdale.

“The awarding of the contract to roll out fibre in Beaulieu Country Estates, Kyalami Glen, Heathcliff, Blue Hills and Kyalami Estates has added significantly to the existing network footprint through Barbeque Downs in the south and Kyalami AH in the west.

“From there, Metrofibre is expanding into the rest of Kyalami as well as through Carlswald towards Midrand. Other areas that already have infrastructure available include Sandton, Greenstone and parts of Centurion as well as the east of Pretoria.”  — © 2016 NewsCentral Media

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