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MTN South Africa created over 146K jobs in 2021

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 28 Aug 2023
Charles Molapisi, MTN SA CEO.
Charles Molapisi, MTN SA CEO.

MTN South Africa contributed to job creation in SA in 2021, having created 6 234 direct jobs and 140 253 indirect jobs.

This is according to a “true value assessment” focused on the telecom operator’s impact on the South African economy in 2021, conducted by consultancy KPMG, and released last week.

The assessment method identifies a company’s material positive and negative socio-economic and environmental impacts, and then quantifies them in financial terms.

The findings were announced at a media briefing on Friday, held at MTN’s head office in Johannesburg.

The results show MTN SA’s true value creation for the period 1 January to 31 December 2021 was 17 times the profit generated in 2021. The report notes MTN SA played a significant role in driving inclusive economic growth, with its impact being felt in communities throughout SA.

It points out that Africa’s biggest mobile operator invested in creating demonstrable socio-economic contributions, to address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.This was made possible through investing in network infrastructure to foster digital inclusion and reduce the telco’s environmental impact.

Speaking to ITWeb on the side-lines of the event, Frank Blackmar, lead economist with KPMG, noted the report unpacks how MTN SA's business activities in 2021 − including capital infrastructure investments, operating expenses and tax revenue − contributed to the country’s GDP and how these factors have been instrumental in driving economic growth.

These contributions resulted in the creation of approximately 146 487 direct, indirect and induced jobs across the ICT value chain and other sectors.

The direct jobs, he noted, entail the total number of employees who are on MTN SA’s payroll nationwide. The indirect and induced jobs include employment opportunities created through its ecosystem – such the contractors, temporary workers, suppliers and ecosystem partners – who are integrated into nearly all sectors of the economy.

“The indirect jobs were as a result of what we call the ‘multiplier effect’ or the ‘ripple effect’. MTN, as a technology business by nature, employs highly-skilled people, such as engineers, technicians, etc.”

Blackmarsaid the broader message is that through its network and infrastructure, MTN is enabling customers to educate themselves. It is also enabling business and banking transactions to take place, plus facilitating digital connections.

“The effect is very powerful because the more people you can connect, the more opportunity there is for them to grow. So as MTN grows, it will have more input across sectors,whether it be financial services, construction services, tower services, transport and logistics,” he explained.

The measurable social value of the total jobs created stood at R1.9 billion in the period, which refers to the quantified impact of jobs created beyond salaries and wages, says KPMG.

Speaking during the event, Charles Molapisi, MTN SA CEO, said: “We take immense pride in the fact that our true value creation significantly surpasses profits. In 2021, the overall social value added through our products and services amounted to approximately R450 million, made up of R219 million from MTN Mobile Money and R230 million from newly-established connections.

“Our view is that MTN can only grow when the society, economy and ecosystems in which we operate thrive. We strive to further leverage our core capabilities and technologies to enable the socio-economic development of society.”

The study also measured the social impact of newly-connected MTN customers. This impact talks to the value created for customers by enabling them to interact with friends and family; access education and learning; providing time and cost savings for health-related activities; and for accessing entertainment and relaxation, supporting their wellbeing. KPMG’s findings show R230 million in measurable social value.