Cwele: Govt aiming to change monopolistic behaviour of banks

Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele said there is a need to review the financial sector charters as it relates to the finance to small and informal business.

FILE: Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele. Picture:

CAPE TOWN – Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele has reiterated a call for a reduction in data costs.

Cwele says data costs will decrease if there are more businesses competing to provide the service.

He says he mandated the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa last year to conduct an inquiry to see whether there is effective competition in the broadband market.

“Data bundle prices must come down. The real data cost will only be realised when more players, particularly SMMEs, compete to give more services to the people as advocated by our policies. Secondly, the regulator has committed to the deadline of April 2017 for this work.”

In the banking sector, Cwele says that government is aiming to change the monopolistic behaviour of banks.

“There is a need to review the financial sector charters as it relates to the finance to small and informal business, financial inclusion, affordability and indeed bank charges which remain very high.”

Earlier, Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu emphasised the benefits of the Preferential Procurement Regulations of 2017.

This legislation is set to give small, medium and micro enterprises a boost.

The new Preferential Procurement Regulations were will take effect from April.

Zulu was speaking during the debate on President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address in Parliament.

“The state departments and agencies will restrict certain designated tenders by stipulating minimum BBBEE requirements or stipulating that companies agree to subcontract a minimum of 30% to categories of exempted micro-enterprises and qualifying small businesses.”

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)