Johannesburg - Telecoms company Telkom is set to hike its line rental fees on May 1, according to a document on its website.
The price for line rental will increase just over 13% from R166 per month to R189 per month, a list of fixed line calling plans reveals.
The move to hike line rental prices follows a similar increase in August 2014 when Telkom raised line rental prices from R157 per month to R166.
Line rental is the fee Telkom charges for its customers to have an active phone line connected to their homes. Telkom users are then also charged extra for voice calls and data on top of the line rental fees.
A Telkom official told Fin24 that the document detailing the price increase is accessible by customers logging into their account details online.
Telkom on Friday afternoon explained to Fin24 the reasons behind the price hike.
“The pricing updates are part of Telkom’s rationalisation of products and services. Factors that have influenced these fixed line rental changes include inflation, along with the access line deficit. The updates required swift implementation on Telkom’s part. We continue to extensively invest in infrastructure to provide better services and value to our customers, making the product rationalisation an imperative," said Jacqui O’Sullivan, Telkom’s managing executive for group communication in an email.
"The adjustment also facilitates Telkom’s improvement to its voice packages to offer better value to customers, particularly the 'unique unlimited' plan that includes line rental, as well as unlimited anytime calls to fixed and mobile networks, at a flat rate of R599 per month,” added O'Sullivan.
Meanwhile, the Telkom document also highlights that Weekender customers - who currently pay R187 per month for the likes of unlimited evening and weekend calls - will be moved onto the Evening and Weekend plan that costs R206 per month.
View the full document by clicking here. A screenshot of the document is also available online.
Telkom's new pricing for May 1. (Gareth van Zyl)
Telkom received criticism, from as far back as 2010, for its line rental fees and its impact on internet prices in particular.
In 2010, the Internet Service Providers Association of South Africa (Ispa) described the line rental fee as a "Telkom tax".
Ispa also said at the time that line rental "is one of the factors still keeping broadband prices artificially high in South Africa and believes that there is scope for line rental charges to be restructured and reduced".