Welcome To The Digital Council Africa


For the latest updates and important information on the Corona Virus,please visit www.sacoronavirus.co.za

Digital Council

Together transforming the digital footprint of Africa

COVID-19 has highlighted the digital divide in South Africa as many people became more vulnerable to poor outcomes and social isolation. People that do not have access to devices, an internet connection and digital skills cannot participate in the digital economy. Africa has unprecedented opportunity to take stock and reshape our society and economy. The decisions we make today will inevitably determine the role digital and data-driven technology will play in the future of the continent and for the next generations.

  • Transformation was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic which rapidly increased South Africa’s reliance on technology for work, education, and social connection
  • Originally established in 2010 as the FTTx Council Africa, the Digital Council Africa is an independent, not for profit organisation
  • Provides a bridge and connector between the government, the technology industry, and stakeholders across Africa to develop the digital sector and economy

About the Digital Council Africa

The Digital Council embraces the extraordinary possibilities that the digital era has for Africa. We believe that the digital economy will enhance the quality of life for African citizens, and allow Africa to remain competitive in the global market. It is imperative that African countries define their digital strategies to safeguard their future status. The exponential rate at which technology is developing, mutating, and adapting is so fast that we have to apply certain effort to keep pace with technological change and how it will affect our businesses and lives.

Our Commitment

Digital Council Africa funders have one thing in common:
We believe that digital transformation is about putting people first.

We’re focusing on helping stakeholders navigate and participate in disruptive environments; and meet their needs using emerging technologies, data and changes to society, culture, practices and processes.

Who is the Digital Council Africa?

Established in 2010 under the banner of the FTTx Council Africa, the Digital Council is an independent, not for profit organisation that seeks dialogue with all stakeholders to discuss how to maximise the societal benefits of digital and data-driven technologies to increase equality and inclusivity, wellbeing and digital adoption.

In turn we support government with issues such as policy and regulation, best practice and minimum standards through an independent voice. Member engagement is encouraged through participation in events and working groups. We offer members an opportunity to network and collaborate and discuss best practice frameworks that is in the best interest of all, solving complex issues through dialogue and policy adoption. Furthermore, we encourage dialogue between government and private sector from a platform that is independent and product agnostic. In addition, our mission is to see broad-based investment in digital skills by all stakeholders, thereby enhancing the lives of all people living on the continent of Africa.

Digital disruption is challenging the status quo of traditional industries, generating a continuous flow of innovation and new technologies affecting stakeholders and industry including:

  • National and local governments
  • Private companies
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Industry organisations
  • End users and consumers

The Digital Council Africa believes that the development and deployment of digital access will enhance the quality of life for citizens in South Africa and Africa as a whole, providing African countries with a digital footprint which will increase their effectiveness and competitiveness within the global marketplace. The council’s charter is to educate Africa governments, policy makers and political leaders on technology and data issues facing the continent. Further, we seek to develop methods as to how digital connectivity and services can be delivered to citizens within the coming years. Through consultation with all major stakeholders and understanding their strategies and concerns, we endeavour to be the voice of the industry and to help create a better future for all involved..

On matters such as:

  • Social and digital inclusion
  • Leveraging tech to empower business
  • Enhancing tech sector employment
  • Privacy and trust.

Board Members



Andile Ngcaba is a South African businessman who has devoted most of his life and career to the field of technology, in particular communications. He is chairman, founder & majority shareholder of investment group Convergence Partners, an impact investment firm that seeks to accelerate communications access and ICT infrastructure development on the Continent, and therefore focusing on initiatives that increase availability of communications, broadband services and new technology offerings to the people of Africa.



With almost 20 years’ experience in the Telecomms industry, and having worked at multiple technology layers in the telecommunications industry, Juanita Clark is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the FTTH Council Africa, based in Midrand, South Africa. Juanita is also co-founder of the Fibre Optic Association Africa, a society for fibre optic professionals with a core focus on skills development.



Thinus obtained a BCom Accounting Honours degree and a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting from the University of Pretoria in 1989. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1992, Thinus has held various top positions with SARS, Standard Bank, and the JSE-listed AST Group, where he was the Financial Director. In 2005, he joined the Imperial Group as Financial Director of the Lindsay Saker Group and became Managing Director two years later. He was also a member of the main board of the Imperial Motor Division and served on a number of Audit Committees in the Imperial Group, including the Regent Insurance Group. He joined Dark Fibre Africa Group [Thinus Mulder] (DFA) in 2008 as the CFO and Executive Director and was appointed as the CEO in 2015, a position he held to September 2021. He was leading the boards of all the DFA group companies, including MCT, Conduct, SADV and SqwidNet. He joined the Board of Herotel in March 2022 and was appointed the Chairperson of the Board in June 2022. He is the Treasurer of the DCA.



Veronica Motloutsi is one of the leading ICT executives in South Africa. A highly talented woman who continues to make her mark in the industry, Veronica is a trusted advisor to CIOs and has deep understanding of ICT and digital solutions. She sits on the Council of Tshwane University of Technology as co-opted member for ICT. Veronica is the founder of Africa Lead, a platform aimed to challenge government, funders and policy makers to create a new digital economy that will propel Africa to compete better with other markets. Veronica holds a Masters in Business Information System, Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and Masters in Business Administration from GIBS.



Althon Beukes was appointed as Chief Executive Officer Openserve 1 April 2020 in addition to his role as the Group Chief Information Officer for Telkom Group. Althon is a proven technology, digital and commercial leader with vast experience across transformational roles within Telkom Group. At Openserve, Althon is leading the organisational transformation journey that is adopting its new operating model which pivots around creating a differential experience on Openserve’s network. Althon is focused on enhancing client and customer experience across Openserve’s current and future market segments and is driving product innovation across its connectivity propositions that further strengths Openserve leadership across fibre and next generation connectivity solutions.



Dietlof Mare is the CEO of Vumatel, South Africa’s leading open access fibre to the home (FTTH) operator, a position he has held since May 2018. To date, he has been a driving force behind the company’s focus on and commitment to bringing better connectivity, through fibre networks, to all South Africans. Under his leadership, the fibre network operator launched a world-first of its kind prepaid platform for fibre-to-the-home services for lower income communities and has since its inception, connected homes across five such communities.



Kholiwe Makhohliso is the VP and Country MD at Software AG South Africa. She made a name for herself as a distinct leader in the ICT sector having led South African operations of global companies, including a Fortune 500 company. From 2018, she has been at the helm of German-headquartered global software company – Software AG as its Vice President and Country MD for South Africa. She boasts a wealth of experience that spans almost 25 years in a career that was meticulously nurtured in both public and private sectors. Her rise to become a revered executive in the ICT industry is owed to her risk-taking nature, resilience and an unwavering belief in offering her clients cutting edge solutions for their needs. An Accountant by training, her career began as an Auditor and CFO, and after few years she changed course and branched into Consulting and Sales in the ICT sector. Some of her most notable career moves include serving as the first Chief Financial Officer of the National Heritage Council, holding leadership positions at Accenture and being appointed to the position of Country MD South Africa at Oracle, a position that made her one of the first women to lead a multinational ICT company in the country.

Jorge Mendes


Jorge Mendes is the Chief Officer: Consumer Business Unit at Vodacom. Jorge joined Vodacom in 1994 and, since then, has played a number of roles in the business across Tanzania, DRC, Mozambique and South Africa. He has successfully managed all the sales channels within South Africa and has driven strong operational management in the regions.



Jan-Jan Bezuidenhout is the deputy CEO of MetroFibre Neworx and has served on its board and executive committee since 2013. MetroFibre Networx is a carrier class Ethernet (CE 2.0) infrastructure company, that provides highly managed fibre optic broadband connectivity in South Africa. Prior to his appointment at MetroFibre, Jan-Jan spent 13 years as an investment professional originating and executing private equity and mezzanine transactions for large financial institutions in the telecommunications, media, technology, infrastructure, and consumer sectors.



Abraham Van Der Merwe is the CEO of Frogfoot Networks, a licensed open access fibre network provider. Abraham has co-founded and managed several successful companies in both telecommunications and electronic manufacturing industries. This includes Frogfoot, Amobia Communications, Teraco Data Environments, Riberry Communications and 4D Technology. Abraham is a highly skilled Entrepreneur with more than 15 years’ experience in the Telecommunications sector.



Moses Mashisane is the General Manager for Legal and Regulatory Affairs at MTN South Africa. Previous to joining MTN Moses was a Council Advisor at the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). Moses joined MTN as Head of Regulatory Affairs for MTN Nigeria. He also worked as GM Regulatory Affairs at MTN Irancell. Moses has extensive legal and regulatory experience and will provide excellent guidance on compliance issues and other regulatory developments affecting plans and programs of the Digital Council Africa and its members on matters which is legal or regulatory in nature.



Valencia is an admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. A seasoned commercial lawyer and capable manager with over 15 years of experience, 8 of which were in the Telecoms industry, she currently heads up Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Services at Liquid Telecom South Africa. She has served in legal and Regulatory roles in both the public and private sector, having worked in various capacities for a large State-Owned Entity (Eskom), and has a proven track record in the Telecoms sector in South Africa and African markets such as Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania. Key areas of expertise include Commercial Law, Legal due diligence in major funding transactions, Labour law, Regulation, Stakeholder Management and Corporate Governance. Valencia holds BProc and LLB degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, a Higher Diploma in Corporate Law as well as a Masters’ degree in Business Leadership from UNISA.

Advisory Committees

Purpose and Benefits of Advisory Committees

Advisory Committees function to support members and the organisation with topical content and aims to stimulate dialogue on a specific topic. Advisory Committees are commissioned for specific purposes on an ad-hoc basis, as and when needed, to address industry specific issues. Formation of committees are strongly encourages, as is ongoing dialogue of sector specific conversations. However, Committees must remain open, transparent and independent, not promote specific companies and/or products, and have a specific mandate it wishes to pursue. Under the leadership of an elected Chair, with support from the Vice Chair, Advisory Committees are responsible for discussing specific standpoints of the organisation and deliver supporting documents on relevant topics as required from time to time. The efforts support the work of the Digital Council Africa and allows for the organisation to become more efficient by applying the specialised skills and interests of members. It allows the organisation to do more detailed work and ensure that the view of the organisation (on a particular topic) is agreed upon. Responsibilities within a particular committee is delegated to willing participants according to skills and interests of members.

  • 01 How Advisory Committees Function

    • -Members must apply to the executive committee to establish a committee.
    • -Committee members are nominated individuals either by themselves or peers in the industry.
    • -Chairs and Vice Chairs are elected by Committee members.
    • -Committees, under the guidance of the Chair, will establish their own mandate.
    • -Committees must comprise of a minimum of three members.
    • -Committees are expected to meet at least once per quarter, or as required by current market developments.
    • -The committee’s terms of reference will be written and included in the organization’s policies or recorded in a motion.
    • -These terms of reference are available to all organisation members.
    • -Committees directly report to the board of to the FTTX Council Africa and the committee chair will provide concise feedback/report at member meetings.
    • -Reports that are for information only don’t require a motion.
    • -All meetings will have an attendance register, have minutes and be publicly available.

    • -What’s the purpose of this committee?
    • -What are the responsibilities and specific tasks of committee members?
    • -Who are the members that should participate in this committee?.
    • -What skill/resources does this committee have and what will it need to complete its task?

Alliances & Partnerships

    The Digital Council Africa is one of five separate but closely cooperating organizations representing the Fibre to the Home Industry in regions across the world.
    Europe, the Americas, Middle East and North Africa, and Asia-Pacific signed an MOU to strengthen this collaboration to extend high speed broadband connectivity across the globe.
    The Fibre to the Home Council Global Alliance (FCGA) meets regularly to collaborate on general topics of interest within the fibre community, including publishing a Global Definition of Terms.

SMME ICT Charter

    The ICT SMME Chamber is an astute NGO that plays a critical role in engaging with government and other ICT stakeholders, and in lobbying government on behalf of the ICT small businessman and woman on all matters of ICT SMME development and ICT sector transformation.
    The ICT SMME Chamber is committed to supporting the aims of the BBB-EE ICT Sector Council and its associated ICT Charter.
    The SMME sector accounts for 14% of total employment as they contribute 42% of GDP. The Chamber believes that SMMEs have a potential to improve these numbers through creating jobs and contributing to the fiscus via taxes and duties. Our advisory services and products offered to both the SMMEs and the ICT business enable the Chamber to maximize and regularize communication between these two key stakeholders.


    South African Local Government Association is an autonomous association of all 257 South African local governments, comprising of a national association, with one national office and nine provincial offices.
    SALGA has a clear strategic role to play in representing the interests of local government within the system of government as a whole and supporting its members to fulfil their developmental obligations, on the other.
    As a full partner in government, SALGA is expected to be an active participant in the intergovernmental relations (IGR) system, to provide common policy positions on numerous issues and to voice local government interests, as well as provide solutions to the challenges facing local government more generally.

    Become A Member

    Who should become a member?

    The Digital Council Africa believes that the development and deployment of digital access will enhance the quality of life for citizens in South Africa and Africa as a whole, providing African countries with a digital footprint which will increase their effectiveness and competitiveness within the global marketplace. We welcome any company, business entity, non-profit organisation, academic institution that is involved in the development, production, deployment, service, maintenance or analysis of digital networks and/or components.

    Change the future of Africa

    By actively participating in our community you are able to take part in the process of accelerating the digital economy in Africa. Members of the Digital Council Africa support the development and deployment of digital networks and applications that will change the lives of all citizens on the continent of Africa.

    Benefits of being a member of The Digital Council Africa


    The Digital Council Africa annually conducts market research on a variety of topics and this is shared with members. This research is also presented annually to the members through a detailed analysis of these statistics.


    By joining the Digital Council Africa you are able to meet peers in the industry and benefit from new contacts, open discussions and new insights!


    Our annual conference is THE meeting point for all people interested in fibre related activities in Africa. We also host annual golf days that are exclusively open to our members.

    The process

  • Once you decided to become a member you will be required to complete the application form.
  • The application is sent to the Board of Directors for approval.
  • Once approval has been granted new members are then formally introduced to the rest of the members and may participate in all the benefits of the organization.
  • We salute our member companies for their contribution to broadband penetration and developing the digital agenda in Africa!!
  • Please Apply


    Corporate Membership

    Annually, excl VAT. ($ 16,500.00)

    • Large Multi-National Organisations and Operators
    • This membership automatically receives a seat on the Digital Council Board of Directors


    Corporate Membership

    Annually, excl VAT. ($ 9,500.00)

    • Medium Multi-National Organisations and Operators


    Corporate Membership

    Annually, excl VAT. ($4,750.00)

    • Large Organisations South Africa only


    Corporate Membership

    Annually, excl VAT. ($3,250.00)

    • Medium Enterprises


    Annually, excl VAT. ($750.00)

    • SMME Small and Micro Enterprises
    • Institutional Academic Institutions and Research Firms
    • One-man businesses or consultants


    Equipment Monitoring

    The main objective of this page is to find ways to deter the theft of equipment and to empower owners of equipment to safeguard themselves and their employees from possible dangerous incidents. For more information, please read our white page on Theft of Equipment in the Fibre Industry.

    Consumer Affairs

    • What is FTTH?

      We all agree that without communication it will be impossible for us to conduct business or stay in touch with family and friends. Today we are connected through devices and constantly in touch with others via phones, email and various social media platforms.
      Telecommunication has become an integral part of our daily lives. The World Wide Web has become a trusted friend and we spend many hours searching for information and looking for answers to any questions we may have. We have massive amounts of information are at our fingertips – and it keeps growing every day.

      This is because fibre optics uses light, instead of electricity, to send information. The light in a fibre optic cable travels through it by a principle called ‘total internal reflection’. Because the cladding does not absorb any light from the core, the light wave can travel great distances at the speed of light. This technology is now being used all over the world to enable better broadband speeds and to transmit large amounts of data at high speeds, from country to country. Fibre optic cables even connect continents – cables laid on the seabed using specialised cable laying ships.
      While submarine communication cables are used to connect countries and continents to the Internet, terrestrial fibre optic cables are used to extend this connectivity to towns and countries across South Africa.
      The construction of both submarine cables and their terrestrial extensions is thus considered an important step to the economic growth and development of many African countries.

      Every once in a while a phenomenal technological breakthrough comes along that changes the world. In the context of telecommunications, that technology is optical fibre.
      In the past, our communication networks were built on traditional copper cabling. As data traffic on networks continue to grow we have to seek alternative technologies to accommodate this constant demand for higher bandwidth – optical fibre. Optical fibre is a hair-thin, highly transparent strand of glass.
      Today, many telecommunications companies are using optical fibre to replace the standard copper wire traditionally used to transmit telecommunications. Whilst copper lines have limited capacity and creates a bottleneck for technologies that need greater bandwidth, fibre is a highly desirable telecommunications medium since it can carry high speed broad-band services.

      Involvement With The Digital Council Technologies

      The Digital Council embraces the extraordinary possibilities for future fibre optic application and aims to remove the boundaries of technological inclusion. Our aim is to help all ICT’s work together to deliver on the expectations of a gigabit society.
      Through innovative technologies such as 5G, IoT, smart cities, smart business, smart homes and big data, we hope to educate and guide all involved in the framework and infrastructure for the next generation of Internet applications.

      Why Should You Move to Fibre?

      Today the telecommunications industry is made up of many telecommunications operators and service providers to choose from, and many companies can offer you a next generation broadband network. These broadband networks offer ultrahigh- speed – 1Gbps and above – to homes, offices and premises around your community. That’s at least 100 times faster than what some of our current home internet connections are capable of!

      With such a network in place you will be able to enjoy a richer broadband experience with more choices, and everyone appreciates speed in getting things done. Think about standing in long queues at the bank or post office – this is the same for your online experience. You may have encountered long waiting times when downloading or sending files, jerky videos when watching online or even poor responsiveness when playing online games. Because files are also getting larger, the need for more information or higher video resolutions increases rapidly over time. Low speed internet gives you a poor online experience and limits what you can do. With optical fibre that is a thing of the past.
      High speed broadband allows people to stay connected to the global economy no matter where they live. An international study showed that as much as 45% of households would consider relocating to obtain broadband service (and 11% would “definitely” relocate) simply because of the benefits of broadband. The future possibilities of fibre are endless and for people working from home FTTH is a must-have.

      Many people want to work from home, but to remain competitive and productive; you need fast and reliable internet access. There is a difference between ‘work from home’ and ‘remote workers’. Work from home is typically people who have their own business and run it from home. Remote workers usually work for a company but because they have a good internet connection, they are allowed to work from home. This is a growing trend with companies, even if it is just for a couple of days a week. In addition, broadband fosters a more attractive environment for new businesses to open or relocate to in the community – as networked workers enjoy a better lifestyle and are usually better educated.
      As more and more “social added-value” services are offered online (business services, social, health, and education services, and government services) it becomes increasingly important to ensure that your community considers the benefits of FTTH, and because household broadband contributes to the overall health and vitality of the community, it makes connected communities highly sought after which results in increased property prices.

      How fast is fibre?

      The faster your broadband, the more you can do online, quicker. Pretty obvious stuff really? So how fast is fast? 120Mb broadband makes light work of even the heftiest downloads: A whole music album (60MB) in 6 seconds
      A TV show (350MB) in 30 seconds
      A high quality movie (1GB) in 1½ minutes
      An HD movie (4GB) in 6 minutes

      What can you do with fibre?

      Download games and apps faster
      Upload photos to Facebook faster
      Skype friends and family around the world in high quality
      Access your cloud apps faster
      Download music and movies faster
      Turn your building into a smart building and remotely manage your life!

      How does fibre work?

      An optical fibre is a highly transparent strand of glass as thin as a human hair. The light in a fiber-optic cable travels through the core by a principle called total internal reflection.
      Because the cladding does not absorb any light from the core, the light wave can travel great distances at the speed of light.

      Benefits of Fibre

      Less expensive

      With no high-voltage electrical transmitters needed, fibre can help save your provider and you money.

      More green

      Fibre is also more durable than copper and will last longer. The raw materials to make them are plentiful (silicon from sand!) whereas copper supplies are dwindling.

      More capacity

      More fibres can be bundled together in the same space as a copper cable.

      Better quality

      Fibre won’t lose the signal the way copper does. And because light signals don’t interfere with other fibres in the same cable, you get clearer conversations.

      More reliant

      Fibre optic cables are safe from lightning strikes or electrical interference.

      Weighs less

      An optical cable weighs less than a comparable copper cable and takes up less space.

      High demand

      Due to much lower attenuation and interference, optical fibre has large advantages over existing copper wire in long-distance and high-demand applications.

      Increased performance

      Fibre gives you more bandwidth, so everyone can do their thing online at the same time

    • What is 5G?

      In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth and next generation technology standard for cellular networks that is the successor to 4G which most people currently us. Mobile companies began deploying this new generation worldwide in 2019.

      Why change?

      Because of the increase in data consumption with consumers, mobile companies constantly need to upgrade communications networks to accommodate demand. 5G has several benefits over 4G mainly as it allows much higher amounts of data to be transmitted, but also provides; higher speeds, less latency, capacity for a larger number of connected devices, less interference and better efficiency.

      Is 5G dangerous and what about all the conspiracy theories?

      To answer this question we need to listen to the scientists that really understand the topic: Dr. Eric van Rongen is vice chair at the International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), the independent scientific body in charge of setting limits on exposure to non-ionizing radiation. He is a Radio-Biologist by training, and have been working on non-ionizing radiation for the past 28 years.

      He is employed by the Health Council of the Netherlands, and is also currently Vice Chairman of the ICNIRP and have been a Member of the main Commission for eight years.
      Previously this was committee of a professional organization (the International Radiological Protection Association, or IRPA) and developed into an independent entity in 1992. The aim of the Commission is to research and develop as well as disseminate science-based advice on limiting exposure to non-ionizing radiation.

      Below is his findings:

      "Radiation from the 5G frequency won't penetrate the body much deeper than the outer layers of the skin. It will probably have much less of an effect, if any, on the body than the lower frequencies that mobile telecommunication systems have used in the past."

      "There have also been suggestions that 5G is behind the coronavirus pandemic, but it's simply not possible for electromagnetic fields to spread anything except energy — especially not particles like viruses. This means there's absolutely no way it can spread COVID-19. Likewise, there's no evidence that exposure to radiofrequency fields such as 5G can reduce the immune system's capacity to deal with external pathogens and increase your chances of getting the virus."

      "That's a very limited amount of heat. It's been calculated that if you're exposed to a mobile phone working at maximum power, resulting in two watts per kilogram energy deposition to the head, that the temperature increase in the brain would not be more than 0.1 degrees centigrade. That's completely within the natural variation of your body temperature, so it won't hurt you at all. It's not enough to have any effects such as dehydration or heat stress, or exacerbate existing medical conditions like cardiovascular disease.

      The heat level doesn't accumulate if you're on the phone for a lengthy amount of time. What this means is that the level of energy won't result in any appreciable heating of the brain or other tissues in the body. It's a safe level of exposure — 0.08 watts per kilogram is roughly the heat equivalent to the body of drinking a cup of hot tea every two hours.

      People are scared by a lot of changes that are happening in the world right now. I think the reason that there's so much disinformation about 5G is that it's something new, and that can scare people. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people are tying things together that have no connection. I think we're finding that it's easy to scare people, and a climate of fear is a helpful thing to those who are concerned about being exposed to radiation or want to promote conspiracies.

      We need to counteract conspiracy theories by providing clear information. In order to try and stop conspiracy theories spreading online, we need to give people proper information about what 5G is and what it does." He concluded.

      When people find themselves in a situation that they don't understand, they try to make sense of it by finding 'logical' explanations, things that they think they can make sense of. In the case of the Corona pandemic, all it took is for 1 person to make an uninformed opinion and the rest of society, who is trying to make sense of it all, will follow suit. The problem with this is that it creates more fear and panic.


    Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.

    Via Post:

    Postnet Suite #477
    Private Bag X1007


    +27 12 655 2009

    Your message has been sent. Thank you!