MJD Law advises Convo Global on the roll out of the National Relay System in South Africa

MJD Law has advised Convo, the world’s largest deaf-owned and operated company, in the establishment of its first office on the African continent in South Africa. Convo is renowned for its pioneering technology and dedication to enhancing the lives of the deaf community.

Convo is implementing the National Relay System in South Africa and will provide approximately 3 million deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind and hearing impaired South Africans with access to essential communication services. This innovative system allows individuals who were previously deprived of the ability to make and receive phone calls and access voice/video mail in real-time through video sign language interpreters, to now take ownership of their conversations and open new doors of opportunity for them to thrive.


The South African born Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Convo, Braam Jordaan, is proud to bring Convo to his home country and make a meaningful impact on the deaf community in Africa. Braam, who has received numerous accolades, including the highest honour in South Africa, the Order of the Baobab, for raising awareness for sign language and the human rights of the deaf community, is a powerful advocate for Convo’s mission. Convo’s collaboration with the Presidency has been critical in the development of the National Relay System in South Africa.

President Ramaphosa and Braam
President Ramaphosa awarding Braam the Order of the Baobab

The team at MJD Law, led by co-founder Marilize Jerling, associate Ralitsa do Tanque and candidate attorney Kirthi Sukdeo, worked closely with Convo’s legal and technical team to advise Convo on the structuring and opening of its office in South Africa, Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment and the drafting of service contracts, including with MTN, South Africa’s largest telecommunication provider.

Kirthi Ralitsa and Marilize
Kirthi Sukdeo, Ralitsa do Tanque and Marilize Jerling

MJD Law is well placed to assist Convo on its expansion into Africa through the support of the African members of Globalaw who are able to assist our clients broadly across Africa. This is truly a partnership of a lifetime and we are excited to add value as members of Globalaw and see the impact it will have on the deaf community in Africa.

MJD Law is also the legal advisors to Paralympic gold medalist, Natalie Du Toit, who is also the recipient of several awards, including the Order of Ikhamanga, South Africa’s highest honour for achievement in the field of sport.

Here are some related links the abovementioned article –

‘Convo South Africa launches the first National Relay Service that allow those living with hearing disabilities to make and receive calls’ Convo Communications Press Release 1 December 2022, available at https://www.convo.co.za/press.

‘MTN Is Piloting Tech To Enable SA’s 2.8 Million Deaf Citizens Users To Make And Receive Phone Calls’ Tech Financials 1 December 2022, available at https://techfinancials.co.za/2022/12/01/mtn-is-piloting-tech-to-enable-sas-2-8-million-deaf-citizens-users-to-make-and-receive-phone-calls/.

‘Convo South Africa and MTN partner to bring phone call service to the hearing impaired’ IOL News 17 January 2023, available at https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/convo-south-africa-and-mtn-partner-to-bring-phone-call-service-to-the-hearing-impaired-1a436f5e-27fd-4470-8ce9-1d47e95845f7.

‘Convo SA and MTN make phone calls for the hearing impaired accessible’ Disability Connect 18 January 2023, available at https://disabilityconnect.co.za/convo-sa-and-mtn-make-phone-calls-for-the-hearing-impaired-accessible/.

By Marilize Jerling