The Right2Know Campaign said the high price of data and airtime is stifling South Africans’ right to communicate.
R2K said it supports the #DataMustFall campaign, adding that it is central to achieving freedom of expression and media freedom for South Africans.
“Too many ordinary South Africans are deprived of their right to receive and impart information because of rip-off airtime and data costs.”
It said the “ruthless profiteering” of telecoms companies, particularly MTN and Vodacom, entrenches inequality in the country.
To bring down the price of airtime and data, Right2Know suggested the following:
- ICASA must become more independent and rein in telecoms companies.
- Digital spectrum must be used for the public interest, including the delivery of free public Wi-Fi. It should not be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
- Greater community participation in governance and management in telecoms infrastructure.
- South Africans must rally and mobilise for their right to communicate.
“The big telecoms companies have been given too much power to trample over the rights of consumers, avoid paying taxes, and make huge profits.”