Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

4G/5G

MTN plans $35M investment in KZN following SA riots

Article Image
MTN plans to invest over R500 million (US$35.3 million) on network upgrade and expansion in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) – the South African province hard hit by civil unrest and looting in July.

MTN said in a statement that the investment will see R354 million ($25 million) put toward the upgrade and expansion of network infrastructure throughout the province. A further R150 million ($10.6 million) has been channeled toward replacing stolen and vandalized network infrastructure including batteries and copper cables.

The mass unrest saw major destruction, including the targeting of mobile towers, communications facilities and retail outlets of local telecoms operators in KZN and Gauteng.

At the time MTN told Connecting Africa that 29 of its stores were damaged during the unrest, 21 of which were in KZN.

"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. 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," said Matthew Khumalo, MTN general manager for KZN.

"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," added Khumalo.

MTN is also giving R10 million ($706,100) to support local spaza shops with the small-scale traders receiving trading stock and airtime to resell and MTN Mobile Money tools.

"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 said.

This year's investment is a big jump from 2020 when MTN invested R270 million ($19 million) toward network upgrades in KZN – enabling the company to achieve LTE coverage of 92% throughout the province.

This year's investment will also allow the company to further expand its 5G network in the region. MTN 5G is already live in areas like Umhlanga ridge, Chatsworth, Durban CBD, Phoenix and recently parts of Pietermaritzburg.

Related posts:

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

Video

Podcast: What's the Story? African tech startups score $3.3B in funding

Connecting Africa's Paula Gilbert joins this Light Reading podcast to explain why the fintech sector is bringing in the most funding, which countries are leading the way for most funding and what these trends mean for the continent as a whole.

More Innovation hub

Sponsored video

More videos

Flash poll

All polls

Latest video

More videos

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

Story

Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.

Story

Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

More Guest Perspectives

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up