South Africa’s first mobile virtual network operator, Virgin Mobile, will be shutting its business doors in South Africa by the end of November 2021. The shut down of the business is after a failed attempt to get the company back on track.
As reported by TechCentral, the decision to shut its trading doors comes after the business was placed into voluntary business rescue in November 2020. The company told TechCentral at the time that it had become necessary to seek business rescue to restructure the company and stave off collapse. From when the business was placed into business rescue, the company’s management team, led by Zak Van der Merwe, worked with stakeholders in an attempt to save it.
As a result of the big shifts in the country’s mobile market, it has become impossible to save the company. The big shifts referred to include strong business competitions, economic stress necessitated by COVID-19, etc.
On the fate of its subscribers, the company unveiled that Telkom would inherit its subscribers who would love to port to their services and continue offering the services that they offer to them. Existing Virgin Mobile customers will be contacted before the closure and given the option of switching to Telkom’s network or cancelling their contracts. Telkom is offering exclusive deals to anyone switching to its service from Virgin Mobile.
According to TechCentral’s report, “As part of the business’s new strategy, it will be completely rebranded as its new go-to-market strategy is implemented. As such, the business will cease trading as Virgin Mobile from 30th November 2021.” Customer experience during this transition remains the number one priority, and all customers who wish to do so will be allowed to transfer to a new service provider with no penalties, up to the end of November 2021,” the statement read. The company’s customer care team will be on hand for those customers who wish to migrate to different service providers, ensuring customers receive the same support they have grown to expect from the business.
Zak Van de Merwe, however, declined to comment on specific questions relating to shareholding composition, whether Richard Branson’s Virgin Group remained invested and how many employees might be affected by a planned restructuring, citing sensitivities around the business rescue process.