South Africa’s National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has opened the application period for a sale in shares of the country’s second largest cellular operator by subscribers, MTN, The sale is part of the Asonge share scheme, which is designed to encourage more black South Africans to invest in local firms. 11.7 million shares – 0.6% of MTN’s share capital – will be sold at ZAR79.61 (USD11.49) each, representing a 20% discount on last Friday’s closing price of ZAR99.51. The offer closes on 16 August, Business Day reports. Half of the shares will be made available to individuals, with half of these reserved for women. The remaining 50% will be open to black savings or investment groups. MTN had 13.03 million subscribers and a 33% market share at the end of March, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database.