Friday 2019-12-06

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ESWATINI MOBILE INTENDS RAISING E500 MILLION

By Bahle Gama | 2019-05-15

Eswatini Mobile wants to raise E500 million in the next few months.

The money will be raised through a strategic investor yet to be announced by the company as well as through the sale of shares to be sold by the company through the Eswatini Stock Exchange (ESE).

The communications company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeff Penberton made this known during a media breakfast meeting held at Royal Villas yesterday.

He said the money would form part of their long-term investment plan, which will see the company invest a total of E1.2 billion.

He explained that the company has already invested E600 million in the country to date.

He stated that 70 per cent of the money went to network infrastructure and the remaining 30 per cent for set up and operating costs.

Asked on the status of the strategic shareholder, the CEO said he was not yet in a position to reveal the information.

He also explained that the company could also not reveal the percentage of shares to be listed as they were still awaiting approval from the ESE.

The CEO further mentioned that the company was looking at expanding their network in the next three years.

“Currently, we have about 93 base stations covering 62 per cent of the population. We are looking to invest another E100 million towards infrastructure with intent to increase capacity.

“The plan is to cover at least 86 per cent of the population by 2023,” he said.

On another note, the CEO stated that the company provided employment for 140 Emaswati.

“About 80 per cent are employed directly and 20 per cent on contracts. But overall 99.8 per cent of our employees are Emaswati,” he said.

He further stated that ICT is very critical in the ease of communication to the country and they plan on reaching 96 per cent of the population to access the 4G network by 2023.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Meanwhile, Penberton highlighted that the company had covered 95 per cent of their customer base in VELA registration.

He said the company managed to register about 120 000 of their customers and they were happy with the process.

“The registration process has been good and we are happy with the numbers registered. We are still hoping that the five per cent would come through,” he said.

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