SA’s high data costs are to be investigated by the Competition Commission, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel announced on Thursday. The minister made the announcement in his budget speech in the National Assembly. He also gave notice that amendments to the Competition Act were in the offing, to make the act a tool of economic transformation. These amendments will empower the competition authorities to act against highly concentrated and untransformed economic sectors. The inquiry into data costs would be in addition to the other market inquiries into private healthcare, the grocery-retail sector and public transport. "The growth of this data-driven economy is constrained by high data costs, which affect users of cellphones and laptops and businesses who require high volumes of data," he said. Competition Commission head Tembinkosi Bonakele has indicated that the commission would be willing to undertake the inquiry, which is likely to focus on the dominance of a few major p...

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