#SONA2017: Govt plans to drop data costs for South Africa’s youth

smartphone south africa data

Amidst a bevy of chaos, President Jacob Zuma eventually got his State of the Nation Address across to the seated members of Parliament and South Africa at large.

Although many points regarding South Africa’s future for 2017 were made (including land claims, black business growth and agriculture), one in particular stood out for us. And that’s the cost of data.

President Zuma announced that the government will ensure that dropping the cost of data will be one of its most important focus points in 2017. He emphasised the youth in particular.

An ICT Africa report, compiled in September 2016, concluded that South Africa had a higher base data cost compared to Tanzania, Sudan and Ghana.

According to an October 2016 study by Tariffic cited by Fin24, South Africans also pay more for data packages than three other BRICS nations — that’s Russia, India and China. Brazilians were the only citizens who paid more for data than South Africans.

Although SA does have steep data costs, Zuma’s announcement was a welcome one, especially in light of Zimbabwe’s recent data price hike fiasco.

President Zuma has, however, failed to explain how government intends to decrease the cost of data.

Be sure to catch up on the rest of our #SONA2017 coverage here.

Andy Walker
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