2003 vs 2013 prices: ADSL, mobile data, DStv, petrol, Big Mac

Over the past decade, the effective price for fixed and mobile broadband services declined by over 90%, while the price for a premium DStv bouquet increased by 74%, and the price of petrol jumped by 211%.

To compare the price changes over the last 10 years in South Africa, MyBroadband looked at the minimum price which consumers pay for a few prominent products in the country.

Fixed broadband (Telkom DSL)

In 2003, a basic 512kbps ADSL service cost residential customers R966.72 per month – R67.72 for analogue line rental, R680 for ADSL access, and R219 for a 3GB data bundle. This translates into R644 per Mbps per GB.

A decade later, and Telkom is offering a 40Mbps VDSL service with a 40GB usage limit for R1,191 per month, or R0.74 per Mbps per GB.

ADSL lowest price per Mbps per GB
ADSL lowest price per Mbps per GB

Mobile broadband (Vodacom 3G)

When Vodacom launched its first mobile broadband products (3G) in December 2004 it charged subscribers R1,198 for a 2GB data package (or R599 per GB).

Fast forward 10 years and the price for a 2GB data bundle on contract from Vodacom plummeted to R99 per month (hence R49.50 per GB).

Vodacom 2GB mobile data price
Vodacom 2GB mobile data price

The price for “out of bundle” data also plummeted – down from R45 per MB in 2003 to the current R2 per MB.

However, it should be noted that the current rate of R2 per MB did not change since it was introduced in December 2004.

Vodacom price per MB without a data bundle
Vodacom price per MB without a data bundle

Big Mac prices

In 2003 a McDonalds Big Mac burger, which is often used to compare the purchasing power of currencies, cost R13 in South Africa.

Ten years later the price of a Big Mac burger in South Africa is R24.00.

Big Mac prices
Big Mac prices

DStv premium

In 2003 a DStv premium subscriber paid R360 per month for the satellite TV service.

Ten years later the price has increased to R625 per month. It should be noted that current DStv premium subscribers are enjoying far more value than ten years ago, including HD content, more channels, and much better sports coverage.

DStv premium price
DStv premium price


In 2003 South Africans paid R4.21 for a litre of 93 unleaded petrol on the “Reef”.

Over the last ten years this price increased to the current R13.08 per litre.

Petrol price in South Africa
Petrol price in South Africa

2003 versus 2013 prices

The following table provides an overview of the price changes for some broadband and other products over the last ten years.

Service Price in 2003 Price in 2013 Price change
Telkom DSL (Cost/Mbps/GB) R644.48 R0.74 -99.89%
Vodacom data – no bundle R45.00 R2.00 -95.56%
Vodacom data – 1GB R599.00 R49.50 -91.74%
Big Mac R13.95 R24.00 72.04%
DStv R360.00 R625.00 73.61%
Petrol R4.21 R13.08 210.69%

More on broadband price changes

Broadband speeds in South Africa: 2002 to 2013

ADSL prices from 2002 to 2013

DStv prices from 2000 to 2013

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2003 vs 2013 prices: ADSL, mobile data, DStv, petrol, Big Mac