Johannesburg, 31 January 2017 – JCDecaux SA (Euronext Paris: DEC), the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, and Vodacom, part of Vodafone Group and a leading African mobile communication company providing a wide range of communication services, announced today that they have joined forces in rebranding the iconic Soweto Towers, in South Africa, following the Vodacom Soweto Towers Competition launched in March 2016 to give a new look to the towers.
Built in 1951 to supplement the power plant’s cooling system, the 100-metre tall two cooling towers have become a prominent landmark for Soweto and are inextricably linked to the industrialisation and expansion of Johannesburg. At its time it was a state of the art facility and the largest of its kind in Southern Africa. The towers are now a colourful landmark depicting a taste of the vibrant Soweto life and attracting visitors from all around the world. JCDecaux won the advertising rights for the towers in April 2015 and, together with Vodacom, they began the transformation of the Western Tower in February 2016.
The current artwork is a result of an extensive public participation process in the form of a competition that saw winners from Soweto, Eldorado Park and Pretoria collaborate with world-renowned artists such as Helen Sibidi, the illustrator Karabo Poppy Moletsane and the fine artist Bambo Sibiya. With a crew of 13, mostly composed of previously disadvantaged artists with specialised training at height skills, the project covers a surface area of 11,841m2, towering 100m above the Soweto skyline.
Over the years, the towers, which carry the heritage of South Africa’s biggest and most famous township, have also played a remarkable role in underlining the uniqueness of the township. From local films, dramas and television adverts, the towers have served as a symbol that represents the vibrancy and cacophony of sound and colour that are Soweto and its 900 000 inhabitants.
Nyimpini Mabunda, Chief Officer Consumer Business Unit of Vodacom, said: "Over the past two decades we have made a significant economic impact in and around Soweto through various commercial initiatives, community projects and a sustained investment in the network. The Soweto Towers competition is an innovative and creative avenue to connect art, the iconic towers and our leading brand in a way that reinforces our long-standing partnership with the community."
Mark Cooper, CEO sub-Saharan Africa of JCDecaux, said: "We are proud to be part of such an emblematic project. JCDecaux is committed to working closely with the communities of Orlando Ekhaya precinct and Soweto at large to have a positive impact beyond the branding of the Towers. The tangible and sustainable empowerment and transformation of communities is a far more meaningful relationship agenda that we espouse, working with the local Councillors in various projects such as Nelson Mandela Day, Annual School Visits programme and Fun Runs for the aged. As the number one outdoor advertising company in Africa, we’ll use our expertise to ensure the success of this partnership with Vodacom, benefiting citizens and extending our business opportunities in South Africa."
Vodacom is a leading African mobile communication company providing a wide range of communication services including mobile voice, messaging, data and converged services to over 63 million customers.
From our roots in South Africa, we have grown our mobile network business to include operations in Tanzania, DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho. The mobile networks cover a total population of approximately 200 million people.
Through Vodacom Business Africa (VBA), we also offer business managed services to enterprises in over 30 countries across the continent.
Vodacom is majority owned by Vodafone (65% holding) one of the world’s largest mobile communications companies by revenue.
About JCDecaux in sub-Saharan Africa
JCDecaux in sub-Saharan Africa, formerly Continental Outdoor Media until the acquisition by JCDecaux SA (Euronext Paris: DEC) in partnership with Royal Bafokeng Holdings in June 2015, is Africa's leading traditional and digital outdoor advertising company and operates in 16 countries in Africa. The company offers 32,000 advertising opportunities within the African continent and employs more than 400 people.
Key Figures for JCDecaux
- 2016 revenue: €3,392.8m
- JCDecaux is listed on the Eurolist of Euronext Paris and is part of the Euronext 100 index
- JCDecaux is part of the FTSE4Good and Dow Jones Sustainability Europe indexes
- N°1 worldwide in street furniture (524,580 advertising panels)
- N°1 worldwide in transport advertising with more than 230 airports and 280 contracts in metros, buses, trains and tramways (395,770 advertising panels)
- N°1 in Europe for billboards (177,760 advertising panels)
- N°1 in outdoor advertising in Europe (731,390 advertising panels)
- N°1 in outdoor advertising in Asia-Pacific (236,760 advertising panels)
- N°1 in outdoor advertising in Latin America (62,860 advertising panels)
- N°1 in outdoor advertising in Africa (32,840 advertising panels)
- N°1 in outdoor advertising in the Middle-East (16,280 advertising panels)
- N°1 worldwide for self-service bicycle hire: pioneer in eco-friendly mobility
- 1,129,410 advertising panels in more than 75 countries
- Present in 4,435 cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants
- Daily audience: more than 390 million people
- 12,850 employees
Communications Department: Agathe Albertini
Investor Relations: Arnaud Courtial