The Competition Commission’s provisional findings and recommendations in the Data Services Market Inquiry, have been welcomed by Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
The market inquiry follows engagements between the Ministries of Communications, then Telecommunications and Postal Services, and Economic Development regarding South Africa’s communications costs, in particular, the persistently high data prices.
“To ensure an effective and meaningful role of South Africans in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, digital inclusion must be at the centre. However, this cannot be achieved if the cost to communicate remains unaffordable.
“We are therefore left with no choice but to use the legislation at our disposal to address this socio-economic imperative,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams in a statement on Friday.
In response to the findings, the Ministry of Communications will embark on a requisite process as defined by the Electronic Communications Act No. 36 of 2005 (as amended).
According to the preliminary findings, the existing international comparisons on mobile prepaid data prices collectively indicates that South Africa currently performs poorly relative to other countries, with prices generally on the more expensive end.
“The ITU [International Telecommunication Union] data shows that South Africa ranks poorly when compared across a worldwide selection of countries and is considerably more expensive than the cheapest offers. The ITU also finds that South Africa also ranks poorly relative to other African countries as a group,” reads the report. – SAnews.gov.za