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."