SA companies count the costs of xenophobic attacks

13 September 2019

Telecoms

A total of four MTN outlets in Nigeria were last week damaged by attacks in retaliation to ongoing violence against foreign nationals in certain parts of South Africa, the telecom giant's CEO Rob Shuter has said.

Shuter was on Monday speaking to the media after attending a meeting convened by the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry that brought together business leaders and security officials, including Police Minister Bheki Cele.

MTN, which has an expansive African footprint, is one of a number of South Africa-headquartered companies affected by retaliatory attacks that followed xenophobic violence and the looting of shops in South Africa.

Shuter said the four outlets were franchises owned by Nigerians. MTN is 20% owned by Nigerian investors, and Shuter told Fin24 that there had been extensive engagements between company executives in Nigeria and local security officials in a bid to curb the disturbances.

While the mobile phone operator has a presence in 17 countries across the continent, attacks on its businesses in response to the xenophobic violence in South Africa have been limited to Nigeria.

Speaking after the meeting in Johannesburg, Shuter condemned the xenophobic violence, which he said "affects all of us" and degrades investor sentiment on the continent. Read the full article on Fin24 here.