08 October 2013
The IFP has welcomed the proposed reductions
in mobile voice calls after the Independent Communications
Authority of SA (Icasa) said it would lower the mobile
termination rate (MTR) to 10c by 2016.
The IFP has on numerous occasions decried
South Africa's high costs to communicate, which include some of
the highest cell phone costs in the world.
We also act in support of NGOs, which provide vital
services on behalf of Government.
The IFP was therefore shocked to learn of the
massive profit margins that big cell phone companies are making
from many commendable projects that are being spearheaded by
The IFP's research has shown, for example,
that for non-profit projects like 12hours - in this case an
organisation focused on saving the rhino – cellular networks
keep as much as 56% of public donations obtained through
This is daylight robbery, considering the many
noble causes that use the short-code SMSs, and that an SMS
costs the networks virtually nothing.
Is it not perhaps time for big business to
consider paying more than just lip service to reducing our cost
to communicate and our cost to contribute?
In the interest of many struggling NGOs, who
fight on a daily basis to better the lives of ordinary South
Africans, and who fight, for example, for causes such as the
survival of our rhino, the IFP calls on cell phone companies to
stop profiteering excessively from cash-strapped NGOs, and to
consider different "rates" for business versus non-profit and
We see no reason why this cannot be done.
Liezl van der Merwe MP
Spokesperson on Communications, and on Women, Children and
People with Disabilities
082 729 2510.