MTN has announced a number of community interventions as part of its initiatives to assist in the rebuilding of KwaZulu-Natal. The initiative follows the devastating civil unrest and looting in KZN and parts of Gauteng in July. MTN’s interventions include R10 million towards the support of qualifying spaza shops in KZN and Gauteng; and network investment of over R500 million which will go towards network upgrade and expansion throughout the province.
The R10 million support will see over R1 000 spaza shops benefiting. Each spaza will receive trading stock, airtime to resale, MoMo tools among another things.
The investment of over R500 million into driving network excellence in KwaZulu-Natal is part of its Network Modernisation of South Africa project (MONZA). The R500 million investment will see R354 million put toward the upgrade and expansion of network infrastructure throughout the province. A further R150 million has been channelled towards replacing stolen and vandalised network infrastructure including batteries and copper cables.
“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 remain exceptionally tough. As a proudly South African company born of SA’s democracy, it is essential for MTN to partner with likeminded stakeholders to rebuild and restore the dignity of KZN province and of South Africa at large.
Our strategy is on track to deliver accelerated growth over the next two and a half years in the KZN region by optimising key nodes, modernisation, investment, further LTE rollout and 5G expansion,” says Khumalo. “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.”Matthew Khumalo, General Manager: KwaZulu-Natal, MTN
This year’s investment is almost double compared to previous year. In 2020 MTN invested R270 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 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. Coupled with the R5 billion-rand National Long-Distance Cable project that was recently announced, KwaZulu-Natal has received an incredible boost in connectivity and data speed.
Crucially, MTN’s work in the region also includes programmes to help the most vulnerable. Key stakeholder partnerships with government and municipality partners will see ongoing support for children and education facilities. Food parcel support is also a key part of the initiatives being rolled-out by MTN Foundation to further support those whose lives and livelihoods have been impacted by the third wave of Covid-19.
MTN’s robust network investment has enabled the company to outperform its rivals in network quality with an average download speed of 67.22Mbps during the second quarter of 2021, which is significantly better than the nearest competitor network that achieved an average download speed of 33.74Mbps. This has resulted MTN being named Best Mobile Network in South Africa and Best Mobile Network in Durban with 9.79 and 9.64 network quality score respectively.
“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.”Matthew Khumalo, General Manager: KwaZulu-Natal, MTN