19 September 2017

South Africa: Right2Know to Lead Protest for Cheaper Data Prices

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(file photo)

Civil organisation Right2Know will on Tuesday protest at headquarters of South Africa's four largest telecommunications companies in Gauteng, demanding that the price of cellular data decrease.

The protest follows a list of demands which were handed over to service providers in 2013, Right2Know said in a statement. None of the demands have been met since then.

"Too many South Africans are deprived of the basic right to communicate because of the ruthless profiteering of the big telecoms companies."

"High data and airtime prices place this right out of reach of the country's poor."

The organisation's demands include free SMS'es for all users, that data bundles never expire and a free basic amount of airtime to all citizens.

Protest action will take place at Cell C's Head office in Sandton, MTN's head office in Randburg, Vodacom's in Midrand and Telkom's in Centurion.

The protests are set to start at 10:00.

South Africa has the second highest cellular data prices amongst BRICS-member countries Brazil, Russia, India and China, Fin24 reported in 2016.

At the time Research Company Tariffic CEO Antony Seeff said South Africa's data prices are "daylight robbery."

"Data prices for South Africa were on average 134% more expensive than the cheapest prices in the group," he said.

According to non-profit Research ICT Africa, South African mobile users spend roughly 24.7% of their monthly income on mobile services, compared to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) guideline of 5%.

Source: News24

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