The Right2Know Campaign (R2K) will hold protests at the head offices of MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom to demand affordable data costs for all.
“We remain resolute that our right to communicate – to receive and impart information and opinions – is central to our right to know. Yet far too many South Africans are deprived of the basic right to communicate because of the ruthless profiteering of the big telecoms companies. High data and airtime prices place this right out of reach of the country’s poor,” R2K said.
The protests will be held simultaneously at 10am in Midrand, Centurion, Sandton and Randburg at the respective mobile network’s offices.
R2K will present the following demands:
- Affordable data and airtime for all South Africans.
- Communications must be universal. Everyone has a right to communications that are available and affordable.
- All SMS’s should be free as they cost the operators almost nothing to transmit.
- Everyone should get a free basic amount of airtime and data in the same way that we have free basic water and electricity.
- ICASA must regulate the cost of airtime and data to stop profiteering.
- Prepaid communication users should not cross subsidize post-paid users.
- Data bundles should not expire if they are unused.
- Cell phone companies must improve the quality of service, including network outages, dropped calls, calls that don’t connect, and data coverage.
- The range of numbers that are free to call (like police and ambulance) should be increased to include our children’s schools and hospitals.