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ANC calls for data costs to fall

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“The ANC believes that lowering the cost of data will be a catalyst for economic growth"

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THE ANC has joined the call for lower data costs across all mobile networks in the country.

ANC national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said that the high cost of data was denying people the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the digital economy.

“The ANC continues to be concerned about the negative impact that the high cost of data services has on ordinary South Africans, especially workers, youths, students and women.

“As a result of the high cost of data, the majority of our people are unable to enjoy the benefits of the digital economy in our democracy. It further stifles the growth and development of small businesses.

“The ANC believes that lowering the cost of data will be a catalyst for economic growth.

“It will unlock economic opportunities and thus contribute to economic growth and job creation,” said Mabe.

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He said that the party supported the #DataMustFall campaign and called on government to implement regulations in support of the campaign.

“The ANC calls on all relevant stakeholders to take urgent steps to ensure implementation of this important policy imperative. We urge the regulator and mobile operators to move swiftly in finding an amicable solution to the disputes surrounding regulations of the ‘Code of Conduct for Electronic Communications Services’.

“We are encouraged that some operators have taken the first step to lower data prices since the popular call for lowering data costs. However, this is not enough. The mobile operators must demonstrate goodwill and lower data prices and allow government to resolve the allocation of new spectrum.

“The release of spectrum international mobile telecommunications services (IMT-Advance) is expected to also resolve most of the constraints experienced by mobile operators and also accelerate the roll-out of broadband networks in rural areas, particularly the wholesale Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN) earmarked in the policy,” he said.