MTN 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 KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng in July. MTN's interventions include R10m towards the support of qualifying spaza shops in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng; and network investment of over R500m which will go towards network upgrade and expansion throughout the province.
The logo of MTN is pictured in Abuja, Nigeria on 11 September 2018. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde
The R10m support will see over 1,000 spaza shops benefiting. Each spaza will receive trading stock, airtime to resale, MoMo tools among other things.
The investment of over R500m into driving network excellence in KwaZulu-Natal is part of its Network Modernisation of South Africa project (Monza). The R500m investment will see R354m put toward the upgrade and expansion of network infrastructure throughout the province. A further R150m has been channelled towards replacing stolen and vandalised network infrastructure including batteries and copper cables.
This year’s investment is almost double compared to the previous year. In 2020 MTN invested R270m towards network upgrade in the province – this enabled the company to achieve LTE coverage of 92% throughout the province.
MTN’s intent in the region includes network modernisation and LTE expansion in rural and township areas. 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.