MTN South Africa Launches MTN Xlerator Program to Boost Local Supply Chains

MTN Xlerator, part of Ambition 2025, aims to uplift SMEs, diversify suppliers, and foster inclusivity.

MTN South Africa takes a bold step forward with the launch of MTN Xlerator, a dynamic Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme poised to reshape local supply chains, drive economic growth, and champion inclusivity.

The launch marks another significant step forward in an intentional journey to support black-owned enterprises under the ESG pillar of the company’s Ambition 2025 strategy. It comes on the back of already significant progress in the ESD space.

To this end, in 2021, over R220 million was committed to various initiatives, plus another nearly R100 million to skills development.

MTN’s Total Measured Procurement Spend (TMPS) has increased from approximately R26 billion in 2018 to more than R44 billion in five years. R17 billion of that spend went to entities at least 30% Black Women-Owned in the 2022 financial year.

Over and above procurement spend, MTN continued to drive its investments in Supplier Development, Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development initiatives. In 2022 MTN spent:

  • R189 million on Supplier Development;
  • R152 million on Enterprise Development; and
  • And R81 million on Socio-Economic Development.

We are exceptionally proud of these achievements, however, we know that if we are to create shared value consistently and sustainably in SA, we must adapt and become more intentional at developing and increasing access to market for SMMEs, given the pivotal role they play in the economy and creation of jobs.

Charles Molapisi, CEO, MTN SA

The new MTN Xlerator programme sets ambitious new targets to improve procurement spending and the development of local suppliers. Procurement spending on 50 black-owned suppliers (from 13 in 2021) of R50m, or more is planned. The plan is to have 140 active QSEs in MTN SA’s supply chain, from 70 now, and 120 active EMEs from 66. In a key move to broaden and diversify the supply chain, the aim is to grow from 65 black-owned women suppliers to 120.

At MTN, we’re significantly ramping up procurement and development spending into key areas, where outcomes can be accelerated and maximised. Supply chain resilience will be enhanced by increasing supplier diversity and strength, collaboration, and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing operating environment and challenging economic conditions. Lastly, we’re improving value chain efficiency by fostering responsiveness, flexibility, innovation, and cost-effectiveness.

Charles Molapisi, CEO, MTN SA

Importantly, MTN SA seeks to lower the barriers to entry to the telecommunication and technology sectors, which have been notoriously difficult to break into, due to the often-high cost of capital investment required.

As an example, this programme is already helping us facilitate more black-owned network operators in SA, which is an important milestone for the industry. Beyond procurement opportunities, we are also reshaping the ownership landscape of our Y’ello stores, with the goal of better mirroring the demographic tapestry of South Africa.

Charles Molapisi, CEO, MTN SA

MTN’s Xlerator programme will offer support to participants in a number of ways to aid their growth and their ability to meet the programme requirements.

The short-term processes focus on working capital funding and will include early payments and working capital loans. Longer-term processes will include low interest loans, asset finance and guarantees.

The programme also adopts an ecosystem approach where like-minded partners including:

  • Nedbank
  • ABSA
  • Bridgement
  • Mamor Capital
  • Payabill and
  • Tysys Capital Group

To drive the various initiatives, including:

  • Funding product development
  • Direct funding and co-funding
  • Loan support through guarantees
  • Business plan evaluation Credit assessment
  • Business development
  • Training and development

Training and development will be provided based on the needs of the individual participants and will be structured according to the type and scale of capabilities required to service specific business requirements. The initial focus will be on certified technical, health and safety, and project management training. The participants will also receive business development support and training to assist their commercial growth.

Through MTN Xlerator we are transitioning our supply chain strategy from transactional to values-driven, with ESD at its epicentre. The programme aims to be a beacon of economic transformation, where budding entrepreneurs and suppliers are nurtured, while fostering competitive markets that catalyse job creation and establish self-reliant communities.

Charles Molapisi, CEO, MTN SA

MTN remains resolute in its commitment to spearheading South Africa’s transformation journey. Through investments in SMMEs, fostering innovation, and championing inclusivity, we are collectively constructing a prosperous and equitable nation that benefits all.

MTN Xlerator is a symbol of our unwavering commitment to progress, innovation, and empowerment. We believe in the enormous, unearthed potential within South Africa. At MTN, we believe in the evolution of empowerment and our goal is to transition from a transaction-based supply chain to a values-based one, ensuring everyone enjoys the benefits of a connected world while building a better tomorrow.

Charles Molapisi, CEO, MTN SA

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