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MetroFibre secures $300m to extend South African fibre network

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MetroFibre Networx, a South African fibre broadband provider, has secured a ZAR5 billion (US$300 million) loan to extend its fibre network.

“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,” said Wayne Edwards, chief financial officer at MetroFibre Networx.

According to the Ecofin Agency, the news comes as demand for broadband continues to grow, a trend that has been on rise in South Africa since 2020. At the same time, this demand as increased competition with market players such as MetroFibre wanting to expand their footprint to maximise these opportunities.

The funds are to be used to expand MetroFibre’s network connectivity in underserved communities across South Africa with the addition 500 000 households by 2025.

“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.” said Nishela Ramgoolam, executive, structured capital at Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking.

“Access to the internet is fundamental in closing the digital divide and giving individuals the opportunity to participate in the globally connected economy. 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.”

2021 saw MetroFibre secure ZAR2.5 billion (US$169 million) with UK/South African bank Investec, which was to connect 300,000 additional homes and businesses over the next three years. Prior to this, the company raised ZAR1.5 billion in 2020.

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