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Govt depts in talks to lower data costs

The Telecommunications Department says it’s in discussions with the Economic Development Department to find ways to make data cheaper in SA.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Telecommunications Department says it is in discussions with the Economic Development Department to find ways to make data cheaper in the country.

On Wednesday, South Africans were urged to stay off social media for the blackout campaign to raise awareness over high prices.

South Africa reportedly has the second highest data costs globally after Brazil.

The Telecommunications Department says strides have been made to tackle high data costs, including calling on the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to inquire into broadband markets.

Spokesperson Siya Qoza says: “Government is participating in an initiative called Internet 4 All. This is in partnership with the World Economic Forum, the private sector some of which includes the operators that we’re talking to, and civil society.”

He says the department believes that increasing the number of Internet users can help when negotiating for lower rates.

At the same time, network operator MTN says it understands consumer’s cries to have data prices lowered and is ready to engage all stakeholders on the cost-effective consumption of data.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)