South Africa’s economy needs action to develop a positive relationship between economic growth and cellular usage, the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) has said.
“The GSM Association found that every doubling of mobile data use adds a solid 0.5 percentage points to GDP, and yet the SA Revenue Service classifies cellphones as luxury items,” it said.
When importing phones, SARS charges an ad valorem duty in addition to 14% VAT.
“WASPA believes that a luxury item is not something that has become the first permanent address for millions, enabling them to be included in the wider economy for the first time,” said WASPA.
“A mobile handset is a tool which allows ordinary people to interact with prospective employers while searching for job opportunities in the most efficient way.”
“A mobile handset, and a smartphone in particular, is more valuable to the one quarter of unemployed citizens than any employment agency.”