MTN today has announced a number of community interventions as part of its initiatives to assist in the rebuilding of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) after the deadly unrest that gripped South Africa in July, including the investment of R500-million ($35.2-million) which will go towards network upgrades and expansion throughout the province.
A further R150-million ($10.5-million) is being channelled by MTN towards replacing stolen and vandalised network infrastructure including batteries and copper cables.
MTN’s interventions also include R10-million ($704K) towards the support of qualifying spaza shops in KZN and Gauteng. This investment will see over 1,000 spaza shops benefiting. Each spaza will receive trading stock, airtime to resale, MoMo tools among other benefits.
The investment of over R500-million ($35.2-million) into driving connectivity in KwaZulu-Natal is part of its Network Modernisation of South Africa project (MONZA). The R500-million ($35.2-million) investment will see R354-million ($24-million) put toward the upgrade and expansion of network infrastructure throughout the province.
“Over the past 17 months, the country has faced such hardship, caused by COVID-19. The recent civil unrest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng have reiterated the dire conditions of poverty and unemployment facing South Africans, and the economic conditions continue to remain exceptionally tough,” says Matthew Khumalo, MTN GM: KwaZulu-Natal.
“SA’s long-term success will be based on sustainable and accelerated job creation and the best way to do this is by helping small and medium businesses grow both in urban and rural areas. These are the true economic engine rooms we need to get working and MTN will continue to harness its digital solutions, expertise and network reach and stability to help support and drive business and jobs growth,” he adds.
MTN Doubles its Investment in KZN
This year’s investment is almost double compared to the previous year. In 2020, MTN invested R270-million ($19-million) towards network upgrade in the province – this enabled the company to achieve LTE coverage of 92% throughout the province.
MTN’s strategic intent in the region includes network modernisation and LTE expansion in rural and township areas – in fact, the temporary spectrum that was awarded as part of the Government’s disaster management response to the pandemic has enabled MTN to provide extra capacity and throughput speeds to all our customers.
Changing traffic patterns, resulting from many South Africans working from home, has required a reallocation of capacity that has been greatly assisted by the temporary spectrum.
Rural areas where connectivity has been a challenge in the past, have significantly benefited from the additional LTE deployment. This has assisted learners as they continue utilising e-learning platforms, and those who work from home.
The investment will allow the company to further expand its 5G network in the region. Areas such as Umhlanga ridge, Chatsworth, Durban CBD, Phoenix, and recently parts of Pietermaritzburg are already reaping the benefits of 5G.
“We are working tirelessly to ensure our customers enjoy their experience on our network, and our commitment to serving customers will always be at the core of what we do. This year has presented many challenges for so many across the country, but we see hope on the horizon. Our commitment to maintenance and investment in improving our network in KwaZulu-Natal and other regions will help us deliver on our vision of ensuring more people can enjoy the befits of the modern, connected world,” concludes Khumalo.