Communications Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, says South Africa is on track for a fall in data prices. The Competition Commission was briefing the media in Pretoria on the Data Service Market Inquiry, sparked by protests over high data costs.
The Commission said the major players in the data market, MTN and Vodacom, need to agree to a substantial and immediate reduction in pricing.
Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams welcomed the report. “I am also happy colleagues to note that i see Vodacom and MTN here which also makes my job very easy because we receive this report it is upon ourselves to engage and see then that we find each other in terms of ensuring that the people of this country indeed have access to fair and credible communication as we are expected to do.”
The Competition Commission has found that mobile data prices in South Africa discriminate against the poor.
The Commission found that prepaid bundle prices are far higher than contract prices. It also found that the cost of smaller bundles far exceeds the bigger bundles.
The Commission has given Vodacom and MTN two months to reduce prices by 30% to 50% or face prosecution.
Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele says there will be hefty penalties for the continuation of anti-poor data pricing. He says Vodacom and MTN could possibly be in violation of the competition act.
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