Dark Fibre Africa targets 2,000km roll-out

Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) will spend R1.2 billion in capex in the current financial year to deploy its fibre infrastructure which, according to CEO Gustav Smit, should translate into 2,000km.

“We don’t need a lot of equity, we have enough funding for our roll-out plans for the year,” Smit said, noting the group’s financial year beginning 30 April, and ending in March 2013.

The group recently announced that it will invest R72-million in the Eastern Cape region. Smit said that DFA will service East London, George, Mosel Bay, Knysna, and Umtata, ‘secondary cities’.

“We are not going into Port Elizabeth as it is already serviced by MTN and Vodacom. I think it’s a sin to duplicate infrastructure as there are so many areas in the country which do not have fibre,” he said.

Additional areas in the pipeline include Mpumalanga, Witbank, Middelburg, Ermelo and Vryheid in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

DFA has evolved into the largest open access fibre infrastructure provider in Southern Africa with more than 6,000km worth of infrastructure already in place, following capex to-date of in excess of R3.2 billion since inception in 2008, and R1.2 billion in 2011 alone.

Listed group, Remgro has an effective 43.8% interest in CIV Fibre Network Solutions, the holding company of Dark Fibre Africa. “We had two rounds of equity injected into the company by Remgro last year,” said Smit, adding that partners and company executives had an approximate 20% stake in the group.

CIV is privately owned by CIV Holdings, New GX Capital Holdings, and Founder Management. Both Community Investment Holdings and New GX Capital Holdings are 100% black owned companies. Together they own 56% of CIV.

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Dark Fibre Africa targets 2,000km roll-out