Mara Phones, the only South African mobile devices manufacturer has been recognised by the government as its preferred device brand to be used in government for the next five years.
In a statement, the manufacturer said in the recently awarded RT15-2021 contract for ‘the supply and delivery of mobile communication services to the government for the period April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2026, the national treasury required preference be given to local mobile device manufacturers.
The statement added that Mara Phones were the first preference because it was the only one of its kind in the country and on the continent.
Mara Phones opened its first store called the Mara Experience in Maponya Mall, Soweto in 2020, a year after the smartphone manufacturer had opened its plant in KwaZulu-Natal.
Recently, the government decided to split the RT15-2021 among the four mobile network providers; MTN, Telkom, Cell C, and Vodacom.
The contract was previously Vodacom’s contract since 2016. The new RT15-2021 contract came into effect on April 1.
The contract offers discounted voice, data, and SMS rates to government employees.
Mara Phones SA managing director Sylvester Taku quoted the awarded contract and said other mobile devices would be secondary to Mara Phones.
“All other device brands supplied by Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom in terms of the recently-announced five-year transversal contract are considered secondary to Mara Phones,” he said.
“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,” Taku added.
According to the statement, there were three main categories of the government’s transversal contract, and in the mobile devices category, Mara Phones was listed across the four networks as the first preferred brand, the other mobile device brands were secondary.
Mara Phones Group chief executive Ashish J Thakkar said: “This is outstanding news, and it comes on the back of the heightened importance of countries investing in their capacity when it comes to critical goods and services. Covid-19 and the Suez Canal blockage have perfectly demonstrated the fragility of international trade.”
He added that Mara Phones was looking forward to working with the four telecoms firms to supply smartphone devices to all government departments.
“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 and Industry for the opportunity and the justified belief bestowed on our locally manufactured products,” he said.
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