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Court Orders Vodacom to pay a minimum of R29 billion ($4,089,800,000) to creator of “Please Call Me”

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A South African Supreme Court ruling mandated Vodacom to compensate Kenneth Nkosana Makate with a substantial sum ranging between R28.99 billion and R55.37 billion ($4,058,600,000 and $7,751,800,000 ) for his invention of the Please Call Me concept.

This decision, outlined in court documents reviewed by MyBroadband, surpasses earlier estimates based on Mr Makate’s initial assertions and submissions to the High Court.

The Supreme Court’s verdict stipulates that Mr Makate is entitled to receive a portion ranging from 5% to 7.5% of the total revenue generated by the Please Call Me product from March 2001 until the date of judgment.

The calculation of total revenue is based on Models 9A, 9B, and 9BB, as provided by Mr Makate.

According to estimates derived from these models, Please Call Me generated approximately R194.8 billion ($27,272,000,000) in call revenue over 18 years.

Factors such as the volume of messages sent, success rates, and average call duration and revenue were considered in these calculations.

Model 9A, assuming a 15% revenue share, also accounted for additional revenues from Please Call Me advertising, “Recharge Me” services, and an estimated portion of revenue generated outside South Africa, bringing the total Please Call Me revenue to R273.39 billion ($38,274,600,000).

The court’s ruling, issued on February 6, 2024, determined the compensation Vodacom must pay Mr Makate within these estimations.

Here are the estimated compensation amounts based on different revenue models:

  1. Model 9A (Call Revenue Only):
    • Mora Interest: Approximately R43 billion.
    • Special Interest: Approximately R55 billion.
  2. Model 9B/9BB:
    • 5% revenue share with Mora Interest: Approximately R30 billion.
    • 5% revenue share with Special Interest: Approximately R37 billion.
  3. 7.5% revenue share (Over R55 billion):
    • Mora Interest: Approximately R44 billion.
    • Special Interest: Approximately R55+ billion.

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