MTN: Helping to bridge the digital divide
MTN South Africa’s remarkable reputational turnaround after its troubles in Nigeria is attributable to multiple factors that include a heightened employee engagement, improved governance, judicious leadership and proactive stakeholder engagement. A strong focus on customer experience and competitive, attractive propositions has also contributed to the public viewing MTN more favourably.
“As a responsible corporate citizen MTN needs to adhere to strict corporate governance and to that end, MTN SA took a conscious decision to improve its governance even further and committed itself to become more transparent, over and above the regulatory requirements,” says MTN South Africa’s chief executive Mteto Nyati.
“Being proactive about acknowledging challenges and difficulties has become a central tenet of MTN’s stakeholder engagement. This is borne out by the fact that proactive issue resolution lies at the heart of MTN’s engagement with its stakeholders, and the express acknowledgement that its customers have a vested interest in the sustainability of the business. It is critical that all our stakeholders are made aware through proactive media relations about the milestones and challenges the company encounters on its journey.”
MTN owes its birth to the birth of democracy in South Africa, points out Nyati. The company has a commitment to economic empowerment and social responsibility, as well as a willingness to share its gains more broadly. According to Nyati, “For MTN, compliance with broad-based black economic empowerment is a business, social and moral imperative.
“It is for this reason that MTN is leveraging the power of its brand to empower disadvantaged communities and its staff members by offering them the opportunity to reap the benefits of being an MTN shareholder.”
The company also stimulates enterprise development through initiatives run by the MTN Foundation South Africa and MTN Business in the fields of education, health and entrepreneurship.
“Our commitment to celebrating local talent is one that is unparalleled. This is because music and football have proven to have a unifying effect in our country. The lasting impact is the partnership structures that we embark upon; we look at a programme holistically, ensuring that there is an individual positive impact on those whom our programmes interact with. We operate in a country that is characterised by gaping inequalities, poverty and in some areas, lack of access to basic services.
“MTN continuously works with relevant stakeholders like government departments to deploy the power of connectivity to facilitate access to education and health. We have seen the meaningful impact that connectivity makes in remote and inaccessible areas, and our role is to play a part in helping government to bridge the digital divide, broaden access to digital services and facilitate digital inclusion.”
MTN believes that maintaining an impeccable reputation goes hand-in-hand with leading by example through good corporate governance, says Nyati. Investment gravitates towards companies that place equal importance on good financial performance and corporate governance.