Vodacom and Shembe announce new deal

While the exact details of the deal remain unclear, the trust’s Landile Shembe says the profits will uplift the nearly 7 million churchgoers.

Vodacom and the Nazareth Baptist Church have announced a new deal. National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete was one of the attendances. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN.

KWAZULU-NATAL - Vodacom and the Nazareth Baptist Church have announced a new deal which will see the network providing exclusive products and services to the nearly 7 million people strong congregation.

The church, which is most commonly known as Shembe, is negotiating with the cellphone company on a mutual agreement.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, who offered her message of support, also attended the announcement.

Vodacom says its deal with the Shembe Family Trust will include benefits such as unique financial services, training and tailored product distribution such as data.

While the exact details of the deal remain unclear, the trust’s Landile Shembe says the profits will uplift the nearly 7 million churchgoers.

“And of the 6.7 million members, over 2.4 million of those are customers of Vodacom. So the deal seeks to protect that market segment and grow it.”

The Shembe nation has previously been marred by in-fighting and leadership battles with four existing factions within the church.

The trust says today’s announcement received the full blessing from all factional leaders.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)