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MTN remains firm on its offer, pledges to fully restore operations, reaffirms its zero tolerance stance on violence, intimidation

As the industrial action by service employees enters its 10th day, MTN has reaffirmed it will not budge on the offer it has tabled to striking employees, and has once again pledged to bring the disrupted operations into full operational mode and safeguard the lives of non-striking employees and protect its infrastructure and facilities.

The strike has had minimal impact on MTN's core operations, which are running optimally. Reports that the strike has culminated in the bulk suspension of customers is baseless, sensationalist and alarmist. The only areas affected are some of the distribution and service centres. The 808 call centre is back online, though it is not yet fully operational. MTN has undertaken to bring these operations into full operational mode by the end of the week.

MTN has noted with concern the disruptive conduct of employees who continue to burn tyres on MTN premises, intimidate non-striking employees and barricade the main exits, thus infringing on the rights of other employees and the company's right to conduct business.

"This unruly conduct is in violation of the picketing agreement that MTN signed with the Communications Workers Union (CWU). MTN will be taking stern measures to safeguard its employees and protect its right to conduct business and offer services to its customers in line with its licence obligations," says Themba Nyathi, Chief Human Resource Executive: MTN South Africa.

MTN has also noted reports that the security personnel at its head office have subjected protesting employees to derogatory and racial slurs. MTN rejects any form of discrimination as it is out of kilter with MTN values and the spirit of the Constitution.

MTN maintains its offer is better than the offer the Communications Workers Union (CWU) demanded initially.

MTN is offering an 8% guaranteed bonus, which will be payable in two instalments. The first payment was made in March 2015, and the second instalment will be payable in December 2015. MTN's maintains this offer exceeds the original staff demand for 8% of bonus payment.

In addition, MTN has welcomed the establishment of a task team to look into payment for Sundays and public holidays in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

As a law-abiding and responsible corporate citizen, MTN respects the employees' rights of assembly and association as enshrined in the constitution. MTN respects employees' rights to protest as long as this is done within the confines of the law.

MTN has deployed extra security personnel as a precautionary measure to safeguard non-striking employees and protect its infrastructure and facilities.

"MTN will take disciplinary steps and lay criminal charges against employees who are implicated in acts of criminality. Resorting to acts of violence and intimidation is not in the spirit of negotiations and violates the laws of the land," says Nyathi.

He adds: "The current revised MTN bonus model for 2015 and beyond is comprehensive, visionary and exceeds all previous expectations and demands."

Nyathi says MTN has proposed an independent arbitrator to adjudicate on this matter in a fair and impartial manner.

"MTN undertakes to abide by the findings of such an arbitrator as final and binding," concludes Nyathi.

MTN

MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN".

As at the end of 30 June 2010, MTN recorded 129.2 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Visit http://www.mtn.com and http://www.mtnfootball.com.