On Tuesday, Touch Central CEO Tbo Touch and Cliff Central founder Gareth Cliff addressed Parliament’s Telecommunications and Postal Services Portfolio Committee about their concerns over high data costs in the country.
The radio veterans have called for South Africa's mobile service providers to reduce to data costs, and have been leading a #DataMustFall campaign which has been gathering momentum in the country over the past week.
Speaking on 702's #NightTalk with Gugs Mhlungu and Sizwe Dhlomo, Tbo Touch admitted that reduced data costs would be beneficial for his online radio business, but said data costs remained a pertinent issue for all South Africans.
Telecoms are by law entitled to support SMMEs like Touch Central. So yes, this cause has to do with the fact that I operate in a telecoms space, and the bulk of our business depends on accessibility of data and the most affordable price— Tbo Touch, Touch Central CEO
Tbo Touch says that the #DataMustFall cause is important as it signifies how important data has become in people's daily lives.
He also raised the issue on why South Africa's mobile service providers appear to offer cheaper data costs in other countries.
I have evidence based research to present the case— Tbo Touch, Touch Central CEO
MyBroadband senior journalist Jan Vermeulen says that the #DataMustFall campaign is important as it has provided a platform for a segment of the South African population whose views are not typically heard in the mobile service data space.
Vermeulen described why data costs in South Africa remain high.
Listen to Tbo Touch and Jan Vermeulen's conversation with Gugs and Sizwe:
As the discussion on South Africa's data costs continued, listeners raised the issue of why mobile data expires, unlike airtime which does not expire.
Sizwe and Jan Vermeulen described why this is the case.
Listen to the conversation below: