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SA's big data rip-off
The #DataMustFall campaign failed to convince SA’s biggest phone companies to reduce prices
South Africans rightfully feel cheated: data prices in the country remain among the world’s highest. The #DataMustFall campaign initiated last year did not lead to a price drop, though it did manage to raise awareness about unreasonably high tariffs that consumers are forced to cough up if they want access to the Internet. Prepaid users can pay between 99c and R2 for 1MB of data, if they are Vodacom, MTN or Cell C customers. Telkom Mobile has dropped its prices, making it by far the most reasonable option. "The ceiling prices of data for ad hoc users are far too high, and are holding back more rapid uptake as well as more intensive use of data in the mass market," says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck. He says data costs for lower-income users are the "real issue" the #DataMustFall campaign and other critics missed. Most low-income earners use prepaid services. These costs are much higher than bundles and contract rates. Mergence Investments portfolio manager Peter Takaendesa agr...