The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has welcomed the decision taken by Vodacom to reduce data prices, starting from 1 April 2020.
In a statement on Tuesday, 10 March 2020, the Federation of Unions of South Africa welcomed the deal reached by the Competition Commission, together with the mobile voice and data operator, Vodacom. This agreement will see to the substantial reduction in monthly data prices, which might decrease by 34 percent, effective from 1 April 2020. “Analysts estimate that 1GB data bundles currently retailing at R149 will be reduced to about R99 a month when the new price regime comes into effect from the beginning of next month,” the statement read.
The trade union hailed this move as it believed that it will help working class communities to access the internet, where said communities will be able to conduct their work and education purposes as we live in a digital age. FEDUSA also believed that this reduction will increase the disposable income of the working class. FEDUSA noted that this decision was a result of civil societal pressure and not from the kindness of the two parties.
Although the union welcomed this decision, it called on the State to assist in further decreasing data prices by fast tracking the distribution of spectrum, which is responsible for transmitting data and voice over distance. “The lack of spectrum is the justification why major mobile operators, such as Vodacom and MTN, have consistently cited for maintaining relatively high services costs in South Africa, compared to other African jurisdictions in which they operate,” the statement read.