by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – MTN, the mobile network operator, is enduring the worst of the rampant looting and destruction of property bedevilling South Africa.
The company disclosed the violence has forced it to close over 100 stores mostly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, the provinces worst affected by the crisis.
More than 100 base stations were down at the time of publishing.
The operator said its technicians could not safely reach the sites for repairs due to the ongoing unrest.
Over 1 000 MTN employees could not get to work and millions of calls and queries from MTN customers cannot be attended to, as the primary call centre remains inaccessible, the company added.
“MTN South Africa directly and indirectly creates employment for over 20 000 people but we are obviously not the only business going through this,” Godfrey Motsa, MTN South Africa Chief Executive Officer, stated.
He bemoaned that the negative multiplier effect of halted business was further crippling the South African economy, which was showing some small green shoots of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the current crisis, the executive said MTN had an “unshakeable faith” in South Africa.
“We continue to invest, to build a world-class communication infrastructure, to serve our 33 million customers and we will continue to work with our business partners, regulators, government and all our stakeholders,” Motsa said.
Before the onset of the unrest, mobile network operators in South Africa have been suffering theft of equipment and the impact of load shedding.
– CAJ News