The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has finally made its public announcement on data prices after a long consultation process into the pricing structure.
However, the Economic Freedom Fighters said that is not enough, they call for a complete reduction on data costs, not a mere rollover of data for end users.
Data costs are ridiculously high in South Africa compared with other African countries. And the ugly side is, it is the same South African companies that sell data to those other countries where data is much cheaper.
In this age of information technology, communication has become a human right. Without access to data, many poor people are closed out of public discourse, and access to information fundamental to their survival.
The very capacity for a healthy democracy, as well as quality education and healthcare lies in access to information which is made possible by the internet. This possibility has been closed off with the iron wall of exuberant data costs charged by South African firms with no shame.
The true test of ICASA is to regulate network operators to stop ripping our people off by imposing a regulatory regime that makes data cheap.
The EFF calls for a radical review of the data pricing regime in South Africa to allow for the imposition of a limit on data costs.
The network oligopolies, mainly white-owned, are too developed and well-resourced to can simply be humbled through allowing more competitors. It is time for a regulatory framework that imposes a limit of data prices.
The respective government in South Africa have not been able to help the masses of the country but have been taking sides with the multi-billion-dollar communication industry against its own people. Most of the top government brats probably owns chunk of shares in these companies and are more interested in their dividends than the poor people who elected them into the office.
I can’t get my head round how same companies sell data to other African countries nearly 5 times and in some cases 20 times cheaper that what they sell to their home country.
CREDIT: ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS (SA) Facebook: Economic Freedom Fighters