December is quite famously known for being a time of giving and spreading joy. MTN, it seems, didn’t get the memo this time ’round, having just announced a price hike for its post-paid customers right before the festivities kick off. MTN South Africa didn’t waste a second before sticking the blame on the country’s biggest foe: load shedding.
Fortunately, MTN’s price hikes won’t be plaguing your bank accounts before you’ve had a chance to do some Christmas shopping. Customers on a post-paid price plan will only feel the sting come 1 February 2024 – two months earlier than the company’s usual 1 April hike date.
Talk about a mood-killer
“In recent years, demand for data services has grown exponentially, placing greater strain on telecoms networks. At the same time as investing to improve our extensive network infrastructure, we have had to contend with the escalating costs of ensuring resilience during load shedding, inflationary pressure, and more instances of battery theft and site vandalism. The price adjustment will enable us to enhance our network resilience to ensure that our customers experience improved network stability and reliability,” the company said in its statement.
Load shedding isn’t taking the brunt of the blame. The company is also holding the country’s rising crime rates and declining Rand accountable for the 4.3% (on average) hike – which happens to fall under the South African Reserve Bank’s “forecasts headline inflation of 5.0% in 2024.” Uh, thanks?
It should be noted that MTN won’t be hiking device fees, insurance premiums, or add-on voice/data bundles. Subscription fees and out-of-bundle voice and data packages on the other hand weren’t so lucky. It has outlined an average of an 8.8% price hike where monthly subscription fees are concerned, with out-of-bundle rates going up by around 11 cents/min for voice and 4c/MB for data.
Affected customers will be notified of the change sometime between now and 2 January 2024 according to MTN’s FAQ, with the general sentiment looking something like this:
“Y’ello, please be advised that the monthly subscription on your MTN contract will increase from 1 February 2024. Visit https://mtn.io/2024priceincrease for more information.”
You can find details about MTN’s price hikes for specific contracts here.