MTN Group has announced a R250-million “relief package” in response to the Covid-19 pandemic across the 21 markets in which it operates.
The package comprises five interventions: employees, customers, vulnerable groups, contributions to government’s Solidarity Fund and participating in industry interventions.
“We believe it is the responsibility of all organisations to assist where they can during the pandemic. MTN plays a vital role in the mobile and telecommunications industry across Africa and the Middle East and it is vital that we assist our employees, customers and stakeholders during this difficult time,” said group chairman Mcebisi Jonas.
MTN plans to raise R40-million for a global staff emergency fund for employees in need. The funds will be raised by contributions from the group’s directors, managers and general staff.
Jonas, group CEO Rob Shuter, group chief financial officer Ralph Mupita and a number of group directors have pledged 30% of their board fees and salaries for the next three months for this fund.
The executive teams of both MTN Group and MTN South Africa have also contributed to the fund. Other staff members can also contribute by making salary sacrifices.
More than R150-million will be invested in the Y’ello Hope Package for customers, which includes free SMS services, the waiving of fees for certain mobile money transactions, discounted calling during off-peak periods, zero-rating of certain health, social services and educational websites, and payment concessions to the group’s business customers.
MTN is also “mobilising the work of the MTN Foundations across the markets to reach those most vulnerable through contributions towards tackling health emergencies to minimise the spread of Covid-19. This includes disease commodity packages and ICT services needed for health ministries and health professionals, and enabling students to remain productive by accessing vital school and university content, with a total contribution of at least R50-million.
The group said it will also contribute R10-million to the South African government’s Solidarity Fund.