Webafrica

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Webafrica is a South African Internet Service Provider (ISP) with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town (Head Office). Webafrica provides internet access to households and small businesses in South Africa via various internet technologies, including Fibre Internet, LTE and ADSL.

The company is known for its humorous advertising campaigns and identifies as “The ISP who makes your online life easy”.

Since 2006 they have been ranked every year amongst the top 5 ISP’s in South Africa.[1]

Company structure[edit]

Webafrica is a (PTY)LTD. owned by Web Africa Networks. The number of employees in November 2018: 120.

History[edit]

Webafrica was established in 1997 by Matthew Tagg [2] (who was attending university at the time) and shortly thereafter was joined 15-year-old Rupert Bryant. In 2011, Matthew was succeeded as CEO by Tim Wyatt-Gunning (CEO from October 2011 to present), formerly the founder and Joint CEO of Storm Telecom Pty Ltd, which he sold to Vox Telecom in 2008. Webafrica Co-Founder Matthew Tagg[3] Webafrica Co-Founder Rupert Bryant[4]

Board of directors[edit]

Tim Wyatt-Gunning: Chief Executive Officer Christoff Botha: Non-Executive Chairman (formerly CEO of Treacle Private Equity[5]) Nick Zografos: Non-Executive Director (formerly CEO of Smartcom [6]) Tim Parsonson: Non-Executive Director (formerly CEO of Teraco Data Environments [7])

Headquarters[edit]

Webafrica’s headquarters are located in Zonnenbloem, Cape Town, South Africa. The company also holds a sales office in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Products and services[edit]

Webafrica provides Internet Access via the following technologies:

  • Fibre Internet
  • LTE Fixed Mobile Data
  • ADSL / DSL
  • VoIP

Hosting[edit]

Webafrica built South Africa’s 3rd largest Web Hosting business through a series of 10 acquisitions including Gridhost, Cozahost, Nexus ISP, Storm Webhosting, Get Green Hosting, Oceanhost, Domaincheap, and several others. In November 2017, the hosting business was rebranded as Gridhost and sold to a consortium headed by Thomas Vollrath, formerly CEO of Host Europe Group.

Underlying infrastructure providers[edit]

Internet Solutions, a subsidary of Dimension Data (core network), Openserve (ADSL & Fibre), Vumatel, Octotel, Frogfoot, SADV, Evotel (all Fibre).

Customer service[edit]

As of September 2018, Webafrica provides internet services to almost 60 000 customers in South Africa, made up primarily of homes and small businesses. Webafrica has a self-proclaimed commitment to resolving any internet access issues timeously and to keep customers connected with 99.9% up-time. In order to keep customers informed of any outages which any of the underlying internet access providers may be experiencing, the company sports a live Network Status page.[8]

Pushing the Boundaries of marketing as a South African Servcice Provider[edit]

Webafrica is notable for their ongoing efforts to change the way that South African service providers connect with their audience and the public at large. The company has included many new ways of connecting to their public and places the onus on their South African flavour and personality, as well as the realities of the service they provide (which is not glamorous but is an essential part of modern life) rather than on the products and services alone. For example, their YouTube advert which encourages viewers to "Skip the ad" kept a vast majority of ad viewers glued to their screens long after they could have "skipped" on to their desired YouTube video. See it here: Webafrica creates hugely successful YouTube advert that viewers don't want to skip[9]

The company also hosted a public "roast" session in which they had a famous local comedian come in and humorously attack them, and everyone else, in a public roast session. This is relatively unheard of - for a South African company to take part in self-deprecating humour. Their goal was to address the realities of how difficult it is to be an Internet Service Provider (ISP) in a country where you are reliant on multiple third-parties as well as a new and emerging infrastructure which is experiencing all of the usual teething problems that new tech goes through. See it here: Webafrica hosts a public Twitter "roast" with South African comedian Vlismas.[10] Webafrica reviewd in Fibre review by Lawrence Cawood [11]

Webafrica is also different from most South African Service providers as they refuse to make public announcements about their multiple small and ongoing charity drives and pro-bona accounts. This is largely due to the CEO's belief that all South African companies have a duty to their local community, and this is not something that needs to be advertised - as it should be a given, not a sales point. An example of this ethic can be seen below: Webafrica in the news[12]

Advertising controversy[edit]

Webafrica had one of their 2018 advertising campaigns reported to the ASA [13] by two members of the public who found the content to be offensive. As reported by My Broadband [14], their “Effing-Fast” Internet campaign received complaints for the use of the word “effing”. One complaint was in regards to a radio ad which aired on KFM, Smile FM[15] and Cape Talk Radio and Mix FM (among others) and the other was about a billboard which was located in Cape Town. The ASA ruled [16] for a partial removal the campaign, stating that the radio add should not be played during morning rush-hour when children were likely to be listening to the radio, and that the word "effing" should be removed from Billboards in areas where children are likely to see it. As reported by The Times Live [17] , Webafrica responded by obscuring the “eff” in their billboards, and "bleeping" the word out of their radio advertisements. In spite of these complaints, the company and its advertising agencies received a bronze Loerie award for the campaign in the 2018 South African Loerie Awards [18].



See also[edit]

Internet Solutions[19] Telkom[20]

Similar South African Companies[edit]

Other popular Internet Service Providers in South Africa include Afrihost and Mweb

References[edit]

  1. "Top ADSL and Fibre ISPs in South Africa". Mybroadband.co.za. 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  2. "Web Africa: Matthew Tagg | Entrepreneur". Entrepreneurmag.co.za. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  3. "Inside Web Africa with founder Matthew Tagg". 2012-02-23.
  4. "From school dropout to running Web Africa". 2014-04-30.
  5. "venture partners for innovation". Treacle. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  6. "Smartcom – Data Contracts, Fibre". Smartcom.co.za. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  7. "Home • Teraco Data Environments".
  8. "Network Status". Webafrica. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  9. "The new Webafrica ad by Jupiter CT, 'Just skip it if you can'...but you can't". 2017-04-26.
  10. "The public give Vlismas beef in the WebAfrica Twitter roast". 2017-07-03.
  11. "Getting Fibre Installed in South Africa — the Ultimate Guide: Part 1". October 2016.
  12. "Web Africa pays homage to the elderly". 2018-06-04.
  13. "Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa - Protecting Your Standards". Asasa.org.za. 2018-03-31. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  14. "Webafrica in trouble over "Effing Fast Internet"". Mybroadband.co.za. 2018-04-17. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smile_90.4FM Smile FM
  16. "WEBAFRICA / FIBRE INTERNET / TIMOTHY WEGE & ANOTHER / 2018-7354F | Ruling". ASASA. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  17. "You won't effing believe it: Advertising watchdog slates internet company over f-word".
  18. "#Loeries2018 winners: Three more Grands Prix on Saturday night". Marklives.com. 2018-08-18. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  19. "Internet Solutions".
  20. "Telkom (South Africa)".

Creating page for South African ISP, Webafrica.[edit]

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