from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
DURBAN – MTN has invested R500 million (US$35 million) towards network upgrades and expansion in the KwaZulu-Natal province this year.
It has also allocated R10 million towards rebuilding informal shops that were destroyed during the unrest in the province in July.
The R500 million investment is part of its Network Modernisation of South Africa project (MONZA).
The 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.
This year’s investment is almost double compared to previous year.
In 2020, MTN invested R270 million towards network upgrade in the province, to achieve long-term evolution (LTE or 4G) coverage of 92 percent throughout the province.
“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,” said Matthew Khumalo, MTN General Manager: KwaZulu-Natal.
The investment will allow MTN to further expand its 5G network in the region.
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.
Meanwhile, the R10 million support will see over R1 000 spaza shops benefiting.
Each spaza will receive trading stock, airtime to resale and mobile money (MoMo) among others.
Khumaloo said over the past 17 months, South Africa faced 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,” he said.
– CAJ News