South Africa has not only one of the highest costs of bank charges in the world, but also higher airtime and internet fees.
Many observers believe that these excessive costs have far-reaching consequences on the pockets of more than half of the population who survive with less than 5 USD (R55) per day.
Now, the country’s cellphone superpowers, Vodacom and MTN, are going to come under fire from hordes of protestors next week who think that enough is enough.
Free speech watchdog Right2Know said this week that it is going to launch a campaign to challenge the ‘profiteering’ of cellphone companies and government’s failure to effectively regulate the cost of communication.
Spokesperson Mark Weinberg said his organisation will organise a march on Wednesday 12 June 2013 in Cape Town to call for free basic and affordable telecommunications.
“An estimated 82.9% of people living in this country have a cellphone that can enable them to access information, enjoy freedom of expression and
organise for social justice as active citizens,” Weinberg said.
“Yet the high cost of airtime and data undermines the democratising potential of the mobile network.
“Therefore, we will hand memorandums to Vodacom, MTN, the independent communications
regulator (ICASA) and Parliamentary Portfolio Committee onCommunication to advance our right to communicate,” he added.