MTN sets high standards for corporate citizenship, generously investing in significant social initiatives in our operational territories
We balance our commercial focus with our responsibility to stakeholders to create and sustain long-term mutual value
Message from the Group Chief Executive Officer
We recognise that the essential infrastructure and related mobile telephony services we provide in the course of our business generates broad commercial and socio-economic development opportunities for the communities in which we operate.
While our long-term goal remains value generation for our shareholders, we continuously aspire to balance this commercial focus with the responsibility we have towards all of our stakeholders to create and sustain long-term mutual value. We believe there are two main components to creating this value: firstly, the quality of our network infrastructure and services we provide to our customers; and secondly the social and commercial development of communities in our operational territories.
Our efforts to promote responsible corporate citizenship in each of our operating territories are manifest in:
- The measurable outcomes of our MTN Foundations and ancillary community upliftment programmes.
- Stakeholder engagement and support initiatives. In this way MTN is making a meaningful contribution to sustainable development in these countries.
In our sustainability report we consider our progress and achievements of the past period.
Our progress in the shortened reporting period is highlighted by the following notable achievements:
- Our BEE spend in South Africa exceeded R1 billion or 33% of our total spend.
- We have developed a comprehensive sustainability framework that will be applied in each of our operations and replicated in new operations that are acquired.
- Our practice of active support for local suppliers has become entrenched in each operation and our total spend across the Group amounts to R5 billion.
- Our tariffs have remained constant over the reporting period, and even decreased in some countries despite inflationary pressures. While tariffs are largely market driven, we believe our tariff structures are fair and competitive.
- We have responded to the challenge of universal connectivity by pursuing a strategy of broad geographic and population coverage through enhanced network infrastructure, catering for our low-income market segments through the introduction of low-denomination recharge vouchers and per-second billing in some markets, thereby further reducing economic barriers to communication access.
- We are creating a customer-centric culture within our organisation by training, developing, growing and rewarding our employees. Three specific programmes aimed at reinforcing our customer focus are (1) The annual MTN Group leadership conference (2) The Y’ello Leader Academy and (3) The Y’ello Stars employee recognition and reward programme, that culminates in a Y’ello Stars gala event.
- Our corporate social investment (CSI) philosophy is well entrenched in each country of operation with formally established Foundations in South Africa, Nigeria and Cameroon. Each operation is committed to spending up to 1% of profit after tax on CSI projects. Among our Group’s successful projects are the partnership with Schoolnet in Nigeria, which has impacted nearly 50 000 learners and the ICT and Rural Entrepreneurship Programme in South Africa, which has trained and supported over 500 women entrepreneurs.
We do, however, acknowledge the following key areas for improvement:
- Our growing subscriber base has increased pressure on our call centres’ service quality across all operations. This is as a result of new market expansion and the introduction of a growing range of services. Our response is to increase the number of call centre agents and to implement new technology to respond to routine enquiries.
- To build a sustainable business for the benefit of all stakeholders, we are continuously strengthening our risk management structures and establishing fraud hotlines and forensic capabilities in our maturing continental operations. We have made significant progress towards enhanced reporting mechanisms at the business level, structuring key performance areas for risk managers and ensuring the overall integration of risk reporting into business reporting. We will continue to work towards further progress in line with this objective.
- The extension of ISO and Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) certification to all operations is taking longer than we anticipated but we are committed to achieving this accreditation within the next two years.
Beneath our economic headlines lie the social and development impact that will help us sustain longterm value for all our stakeholders. We are constantly learning where we can make the most pertinent impact. Overall, we are encouraged that we have met most of our sustainability objectives during the past period and we have set additional goals for the coming year. We are creating a strong platform from which to monitor and measure our impact going forward and aim to create an integrated and interlinking stakeholder value as we progress.
Group Chief Executive Officer
22 March 2006