Adri Senekal de Wet.
It is almost 140 years since Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the telephone to Queen Victoria followed by the first installed telephone in Britain.

Telephone exchanges followed, allowing cities to connect. The National Telephone Company was formed, then the General Post Office. In 1896, the National Telephone Company was taken over by the General Post Office. In 1912 it became the primary supplier of telecommunications services. Today it is known as British Telecommunications, or BT.

More than a decade ago, BT’s vision for Africa led the company to partner with a (then) medium size black-owned and managed diversified public company, Sekunjalo Investments. BT rooted their business expansion objectives on partnerships with visionary, trusted and sustainable business partners and networks.

The proof of that successful partnership is clear: BT grew to become a dominant-leading telecommunication provider on the African continent. At the weekend, I spoke to BT’s Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific President, Kevin Taylor,during his visit to the country. He told me he was extremely excited about Africa and the strategic relationship with Sekunjalo.


Networks are the heartbeat of any economic growth strategy for any country, company, government, household or individual. Everybody wants to be connected - from the president of a country to a sweeper. Some need the connectivity to implement strategies, others to protect their countries, while some just want to share feelings.

Mobile telephones are capable of much more than just sending and receiving phone calls or text messages.

BT’s business model, over 140 years, didn’t really change that much. The devices changed, the format of communiqué changed, but the vision stays (and stayed) clear: Connecting people.

Cellphones are capable of keeping people in communication with others all around the world.File Photo: Simone Kley

As the new editor of BR, I was tasked to present a “growth strategy 2020” to the chairman of this company, Dr Iqbal Survé, this week. A tall task, since the aim is to create value for stakeholders; including a value proposition to YOU, our readers.

The interview with Kevin Taylor on Sunday morning eased my task - we didn’t really discuss his company profit, asset growth, strategic vision and sustainable communication strategy as I intended. The “Taylor-Made Strategic vision for 20-Indefinite”, is to connect people. And the report that I will deliver to my chairman, will salute Dr Surve’s value creation objectives. We are in the business of content, new generation content that is freely available.

We, as Independent Media, will continue to provide the medium for people to communicate and connect with people, through our multi-media communication service.

For now, call us “The Independent Exchange”.