EFF CALLS FOR COMPLETE REDUCTION OF DATA COSTS
Thursday, April 26, 2018
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has finally made its public announcement on data prices after taking long in the consultation process.
This, however, is not enough. The Economic Freedom Fighters 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. Yet, it is the same South African companies that sell data in these countries.
In the 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.
Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 26 April 2018