According to a statement released by Vodacom South Africa, as of 1 April, Vodacom South Africa will introduce a range of initiatives that will result in R2.7 billion in additional savings for customers.
Over the past three years, Vodacom has made significant progress in reducing the cost to communicate and making data more accessible, particularly for poorer consumers and communities.
According to a statement released, Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub said: “In terms of the agreement, and following confirmation by the Tribunal, Vodacom will introduce price reductions across all its monthly bundles and provide free access to basic internet, essential services, and cheaper pricing to the poorest communities. This will promote greater digital inclusion and assist with societal problems in education and unemployment.”
“Having heard the concerns raised by the Competition Commission, we proactively entered into a Social Contract with the government and the public. We did this at a time when South African consumers are under increasing financial pressure and on the understanding that action will be taken by ICASA and Government to auction high demand spectrum. Delays in assigning spectrum and completing the digital migration has curbed the pace at which data prices could have fallen,” adds Shameel.
The data price cuts and free data services will include:
Accelerating data pricing transformation on 30-day bundles by reducing prices by up to 40%. Notably, 1GB of data valid for 30 days – often referred to as the “headline price” – will reduce by 34% from R149 to R99 on all channels. Discounts will be provided on all 30-day bundles while further decreases will be effected on 1 April 2021.
With regard to access to free data services, a consolidation of all existing zero-rated data services with new essential services aimed at social upliftment into a single platform called “Connect U”.
This social platform will provide Vodacom customers with:
- Free access to job portals, where youth can search for employment and upload their CVs.
- Free educational content like our e-School platform which provides CAPS curriculum-aligned content from Grades R – 12.
- Free Health and wellness information through our Mum & Baby platform focused on equipping mothers and caregivers with advice on pregnancy, neonatal and childcare through SMS, educational articles, tutorials, videos, and other tools.
- Free access to Facebook Flex, the low data alternative to Facebook that enables customers to stay socially connected.
- Zero-rated access to select government sites to assist members of the public in accessing government services such as Home Affairs, Ambulance Services, Education sites, and Government Communication Services. This will assist everyone in gaining access to much-needed government services as these are now moving into the digital space as well.
- A full zero-rated internet search function powered by Wikipedia. This will allow customers access to the entire Wikipedia database of knowledge free of charge.
- Free access to other essential information such as local and international headlines, trends and the weather.
“We believe these commitments, as part of our social contract, will go a long way in assisting customers in these tough economic times and driving digital inclusion for all,” concludes Shameel.