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Ramaphosa negotiates data price cuts with SA networks

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted key issues facing the country during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday, 13 February 2020. According to the Daily Maverick, it was “one of the most important State of the Nation Addresses in several years”.

Despite the obvious obstacles – Eskom failing to keep the lights on, Crippling unemployment rates and SAA running out of funding – Ramaphosa took the time to address another challenge – digital inclusion.

He says that big data price cuts and free daily data allocation for users are being negotiated thanks to talks between the competition authority and SA’s largest network providers.

“This is an important step to improve lives, bring people into the digital economy, and stimulate online businesses,” adds Ramaphosa.

“The digital economy will increasingly become a driver of growth and a creator of employment.”

SONA tackles 4IR

Ramaphosa then went on to say that the Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution has identified ways to “impact nearly every aspect of the economy”.

“The Commission’s report provides us with the tools to ensure that we extract the greatest benefit of these revolutionary technological changes.”

He also mentioned that a key driver in South Africa’s success as a digital economy is heavily reliant on access to high-demand and reliable spectrum.

“The regulator, ICASA, has undertaken to conclude the licensing of high-demand spectrum for industry via auction before the end of 2020,” he said.

“Because of additional requirements, the licensing of the wireless open-access network – or WOAN – is likely to be completed during the course of next year.”

Edited by Jenna Delport
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