Whatever is going in South Africa is ugly: the locals in Africa’s leading economy have been attacking, and in some cases, killing some foreign nationals for reasons that are yet to be established, but the general consensus is that members of other African states, especially those from Nigeria have been running illegal activities in SA. Some say foreigners have cut the chance of locals accessing gainful employment.
Of course, this is not the first time the issue has come up. However, the xenophobic attacks mark the first instance the issues have been publicized on a larger scale, including input from Nigerian artists who have faulted South Africa’s Government for doing little to protect its guests.
MTN, a South African mobile carrier that is also Africa’s largest operator, has closed stores in Nigeria following a series of attacks at its stores. In some instances, its boosters are said to have been vandalized by being set on fire. The attacks are a blatant retaliation to the events in South Africa.
“While we remain committed to providing uninterrupted services, the safety and security of our customers, staff, and partners is our primary concern. MTN’s stores and service centres in Nigeria have therefore been closed as a precaution,” reads a statement from MTN Group.
MTN has 58 million users in Nigeria, effectively making it its biggest market that also accounts for a third of the Group’s revenues.
“MTN is working with the relevant authorities and other stakeholders to focus on stabilizing the situation both in Nigeria and South Africa and to ensure the safety and well-being of all those impacted by the unfortunate violence. We are also looking at coordinating with key stakeholders to work on medium to long term interventions to this situation,” concludes a statement from the operator.
MTN says it is committed to ensuring a peaceful and respectful relationship with its stakeholders in Africa.