South Africans to Receive Free Data, Government Says – This is How Much

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According to the National Infrastructure Plan 2050, published by South Africa’s Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia De Lille on Friday, every South African household will receive 50GB of data by the 2025/6 financial year.

The document says that the government aims to provide high-speed, affordable, and accessible broadband to underserved and low-income areas.

“Investment in last-mile connectivity, mainly through a complementary mix of
wireless broadband technologies, targeting rural and underserved populations,
will take place,” the document reads.

Minister of Communications, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, had revealed in her State of the Nation Address (SONA) speech that 10GB of free data would be available to every household, regardless of the financial background, according to TimesLive.

“At some point, SA households — despite whether you are rich or poor, whether you are employed or unemployed — will have access to 10GB per month without failure because that’s what this government will deliver,” Ntshavheni said in her speech in February.

The National Infrastructure Plan specified that 10GB of data should be available to households by March 2023.

The document says the private sector participation in achieving universal broadband access is prevalent and that it is imagined R30 billion ($2 million) to R80 billion ($5.3 million) will be raised to finance the rollout of government broadband in the medium term.

The government will also be working with businesses and other stakeholders to keep up with digital trends and contribute to strengthening private-public cooperation.

According to Tech Central, the document also shows that Internet access is dependent on things such as data pricing and lack of fibre in most areas.

Tech Central says most mobile subscribers use prepaid services, too, at a cost significantly higher than post-paid. For example, in 2020 the cost of 1GB of prepaid data was about R100 to R120 – more than double that of postpaid data, at R40 to R79.

By Zintle Nkohla

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