Money Matters: Do South African consumers complain enough about prices?

Could high prices for products in South Africa be driven by consumers not speaking out?

On #NightTalk, listeners enquired about why South Africa will not be among the countries which will be offered lower DStv subscription fees.

Multichoice recently announced that DStv subscription fees will be lowered in several African countries on 1 November.

There you've got a very good example of consumers saying 'no more, we're not prepared to accept this, its too much', and cancelling their subscriptions

Megan Power, consumer columnist

Last month, Parliament's Telecommunications and Postal Services Portfolio Committee heard how data costs in South Africa are higher than those of other countries on the continent, as the country saw the mobilizing of the #DataMustFall campaign.

Speaking to #NightTalk's Sizwe Dhlomo, consumer columnist Megan Power says that consumers in the country have used means other than activism to raise their concerns about prices.

We don't have major consumer activism in the country. But what we do have is more and more consumers taking advantage of the Consumer Protection Act, which is very broad and gives us rights which are unrivaled in most countries in the world

Megan Power, consumer columnist

Power says that although the country's Consumer Protection Act is very useful, it has nothing to do with prices.

She says that if consumers are not satisfied with price issues in the consumer market, the most effective way to make their voices heard, is to vote with their feet.

Social media is a brilliant way for consumers to voice their concerns

Megan Power, consumer columnist

It is not uncommon to find South Africans venting our their dissatisfaction with a business on social media.

Power says that if consumers voice their concerns in enough numbers and intelligently on social media, companies would get the message that their consumer base is unhappy.

Listen to the conversation below:

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