R5bn Injection Brings Fibre to SA Communities
Standard Bank facilitates a R5 billion deal to finance MetroFibre’s ambitious fibre roll-out programme
Standard Bank Group has successfully finalised a R5 billion debt finance package for MetroFibre Networx, supporting its continued fibreoptic data network rollout across South Africa.
The financing will be used to expand MetroFibre’s world-class fibre connectivity into homes and businesses in underserviced communities across South Africa, and is set to contribute to increasing MetroFibre’s reach by an additional 500 000 households across South Africa.
“Partnerships such as these are a testament to how doing good in business is good for business, and in this case empower South Africans through digital inclusion to foster meaningful social impact.” says Nishela Ramgoolam, Executive: Structured Capital at Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking.
The fast-growing demand for fibre connectivity in many outlying regions presents opportunities for filling this critical gap, not only from a business perspective, but also from a socioeconomic upliftment standpoint.
“Access to the internet is fundamental in closing the digital divide and giving individuals the opportunity to participate in the globally connected economy,” says Ramgoola. “This timely deal with a proudly South African digital infrastructure business supports our mission of driving positive, sustainable and truly embedded technological growth across the continent, and developing digital innovations that matter.”
MetroFibre Networx is a diversified network operator, a carrier class Ethernet (CE 3.0) infrastructure company that today provides highly managed fibre optic broadband connectivity in South Africa.
Launched in 2010, the company ranks among the top three fibre network operators in South Africa with its open-access network currently passing over 350 000 homes in six provinces. It aims to reach an additional 500 000 residential homes across the country by 2025.
“Our next era of growth will be defined by bringing greater access to reliable telecommunications to the majority of citizens, with fibre connectivity playing an increasingly vital role in driving economic growth, increasing access to education, and providing a myriad of social benefits,” says Wayne Edwards, Chief Financial officer at MetroFibre Networx.