Last week National Treasury announced that the RT15-2021 Traversal Contract had been awarded. Rather than choosing one mobile network to provide government with mobile communications, Telkom, Vodacom, MTN and Cell C were all selected.
One aspect of the RT15-2021 contract that had a few folks scratching their heads was the mention of local manufacturers being given preference when it comes to selecting devices. But does South Africa have any locally produced smartphones? It does, one actually.
Mara Phones are produced in South Africa and, as you might imagine, the firm is rather pleased that its handsets will be given preference when government officials are shopping for a new contract.
“This is the result of years of hard work and tireless dedication from my exceptional team. It is a huge boost to South Africa’s local economy and employment, and it demonstrates the Government’s and the network operators’ absolute faith in us as South Africa’s flagship smartphone brand,” said managing director at Mara Phones SA, Sylvester Taku.
“Every South African can be proud that world-class smartphones roll out of our KwaZulu-Natal high-tech electronics manufacturing plant – not simple assembly plant – and we cannot wait to get our devices into the hands of more South Africans,” Taku added.
The director goes on to say that Mara Phones will be investing in growing its brand and helping to address South Africa’s unemployment challenge.
The blockade at the Suez Canal in recent weeks highlighted just how fragile international trade can be and how important local manufacturing is. Beyond that, as we saw this time last year, trade can be severely impacted by international events.
“We are looking forward to working with the big four telecoms firms to supply the world’s best, South African-made smart devices to all government departments, agencies and institutions. In particular, we are looking forward to exceeding the expectations of the users themselves. We are thankful to the Government of South Africa, the Department of National Treasury and the Department for Trade & Industry for the opportunity and the justified belief bestowed on our locally manufactured products,” concluded group chief executive officer for Mara Phones, Ashish Thakkar.
Congratulations to Mara Phones, while the mobile network operators won big in RT15-2021, Mara Phones won the biggest it seems.