SA could see lowered data costs by August 2018

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South Africans will pay less for data and this could happen as early as August next year, according to Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister, Siyabonga Cwele.

Cwele announced this at the last day of the SADC ICT meeting in Durban today.

Reducing data and roaming costs for users in Southern African countries has been some of the highlight topics at the meeting, attended by Minister of Communication, Ayanda Dlodlo and ministers from across the SADC region.

Only 17% of those living in region have access to the internet.

Cwele said his department has mandated Icasa to conduct a thorough study on the cost of data in the country and make recommendations.

“Icasa is busy conducting this study and they have promised to prioritise it because the demand from our citizens is so high that we must do this. We have also spoken to the Minister of Economic Development as well as the Competition Commission regarding this inquiry into data costs and by August next year we will have reached a conclusion on the matter,” Cwele told the SA Government News Agency.

“There is massive change and a revolution that is unfolding in front of us. It is our responsibility to plan ahead. We must be able to say what we want this region to be in 10 years time. If it means changing the laws to meet our ICT goals, then we must do it,” he added.