Following news that Vodacom will have 139 stores remain open across the country during the national lockdown, Stuff Magazine reached out to MTN to determine how it’ll be handling the situation. We now have an official statement from the service provider regarding the state of stores and it doesn’t look great for consumers. But it might just be good for the population.
With the lockdown in full effect, one of the more essential services that plenty of people overlook is that of telecommunications. It’s more important than ever to stay connected with both loved ones and world news in general. For most that’s a process that requires a smartphone, a signal and some data. While Vodacom has confirmed that it is keeping a selection of stores across the country open, other service providers will be far less accessible, including MTN.
After reaching out to the service provider, Stuff can confirm that the vast majority of MTN stores will be closed over the next 21 days. “From the 30th March, only 20% of MTN stores will be opened,” stated Jacqui O’Sullivan, executive for corporate affairs at MTN South Africa.
Percentages are fairly meaningless though. What does that number actually mean? While it’s difficult to figure out how many MTN stores are in South Africa, there should be roughly 133 outlets spread around the country. That’s not an official number, mind you, that’s been drawn from localstore.co.za which may not be entirely up to date. We tried to use MTN’s “find a store” option on their official website, but the site only shows data coverage from what we could discern. If one were to take 20% of that 133, it turns out that only 26 MTN outlets will remain open during the lockdown.
Now, this data isn’t 100% accurate given that localstore.co.za did not list smaller outlets in towns such as Grahamstown and Queenstown, but the majority of stores are included. Which isn’t exactly great news for MTN customers.
We’re obviously unsure of which stores will remain open but can assume MTN will make an official statement soon, given that all branches were closed this weekend. The open stores will probably be located in large city centres around the country but for those of you stuck in Brakpan? Probably not a great time to be paying R150 for 1GB of data, huh?