Can government bring down data costs? Fin24 readers react

Johannesburg - The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa) intervention in high data costs has drawn support from Fin24 readers. 

Fin24 recently reported that the #DataMustFall campaign of the Free Market Foundation (FMF) utilises "dangerous populist disinformation", which has resulted in government and Icasa "trying to force price control on the private sector based on a social media campaign and a false meme".

Reacting to the FMF’s statements and the decision by Icasa to step into the ongoing data feud, Fin24 user Gert van Aswegen said: “I think government should intervene. Companies like Vodacom and MTN are too big. They do what they want. Telkom has a gig at R99. Why does Vodacom still charge R149? Something needs to be done.”

Also agreeing with government intervention, Lerothodi Makhetha said: “Our data is very expensive. Yes indeed, government must interfere to ensure that we have lower data. On prepaid, for example, 1 gig of data on Vodacom is R149, whereas on contract the same data costs R79.”

Gary Wilson also agreed, saying: “They need to be regulated. If left to the cell companies, the prices will increase without check.  Itemised billing charges must be dropped as well. If you go to the supermarket and check your slip to check to see if you have been charged correctly, there will be a huge outcry! How come the cellphone companies can get away with it?”

User John Babu added: “Someone needs to defend the consumers from money hungry networks. Prices for data are crazy.”

Izak Nothling said: “I’m all for the changes that they propose as stated in the Government Gazette.”

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