Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel has stated that bringing data prices down will be a priority for the government in 2018.
Patel said the cost of data will come down following a competition market inquiry into data services.
National Treasury directed the Competition Commission to investigate data prices in 2017. The commission is looking to identify areas where consumers may be exploited or excluded.
It also wants to identify structural, behavioural, or regulatory factors influencing competition or pricing.
The assessment will include the market structure, the impact of regulations, the investment in infrastructure by operators, and their access to spectrum.
The commission will also benchmark South African data services pricing against other countries.
Recommendations on how the market could be made more competitive and inclusive, and how data prices can be brought down will then be made.
The commission expects to finish the inquiry by 31 August 2018.
Patel also announced plans to build fibre networks in South Africa.
He said the government will expand infrastructure through finalising the release of new spectrum – thanks to the migration from analogue to digital TV broadcasting.
“We’ll conclude key policies including the entry of cross-border ecommerce in South Africa,” added Patel.