MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile-phone operator by sales, has told South Africa’s parliament members that it has reduced its data tariffs by 73% in the past five years while its voice tariffs have also reduced by 58% despite an increase in costs due to a struggling economy.
Head of Corporate Services, Graham De Vries, told the portfolio committee on telecommunications and postal services which was meeting this week to listen to presentations on the ongoing #DataMustFall campaign in South Africa on Wednesday that its consumer charges for both phone calls and data have actually declined in the last half decade. The company has also reduced marketing spend by 36% since 2011.
“We are in a very competitive market, and there is significant pressure to ensure we satisfy our customers, But we also need to balance that with our shareholders’ expectations, and it’s a fine balancing act.” said Head of corporate services, Graham De Vries.
The telecoms operator also said through its Chief Financial Officer, Sandile Ntsele that it was not prioritising Nigeria over its home base South Africa in a counter statement to EFF MP Fana Mokoena, who accused MTN of focusing its efforts in Nigeria more than in its home base South Africa.
“We are materially the same on a dollar-to-dollar basis, In general, we do a comparison across the 22 countries we operate in, and in general we stay the same [with regards to investment]. I can clearly state we operate on a country-by-country basis. Each country has its own board of directors, its own targets etc,” said Ntsele. He added that MTN Nigeria and MTN South Africa contribute approximately 65% of the group’s profits.