The Competition Commission has released a statement today with details of a settlement regarding the cutting down of data prices. Competition Commission’s Thembinkosi Bonakele confirmed in a statement.
From April 1 2020, Vodacom shall, except for zero-rated government websites, make available all of its current zero-rated services on one platform with increased focus on consumers in poorer communities through “Connect U”
The Competition Commission engaged with Vodacom and MTN with regards to the findings and recommendations in February the 2nd, 2020.
The Commission had also released the Data Services Market Inquiry final report with findings and recommendations.
The report recommended that network operators, Vodacom and MTN reach an agreement within two months with the Commission to reduce data prices.
The recommendations also included that the operators reach an agreement with the Commission on the pro-poor measures within three months.
Vodacom to ‘save customer expenses by R2.7bn’
Vodacom announced also today that they will be introducing services and cut customers expenses by up to R2.7bn
On 1 April 2020, Vodacom South Africa will introduce a range of initiatives that will result in R2.7 billion in additional savings for customers. This forms part of a broader Vodacom Group programme to create a Social Contract with its stakeholders that will address pressing societal challenges in each of the markets in which it operates.
Vodacom said their new developments will include:
- Accelerating our data pricing transformation on our 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, we will be consolidating 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.
- Access to two free SMS’s per day to customers, provided they have made a purchase in the past month and they can access these on the new portal.
- Extending further discounted bundle offers to pre-paid customers in areas where the majority of people living beneath the food poverty line. This will benefit more than 2000 suburbs and villages, ensuring that this benefits people that really need it most.
- 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.
- Expanding our zero-rated offering to all schools, universities and T-Vet colleges across the country. This will ensure that learners and students enrolled into these institutions will be able to access relevant information for free via their portals.
- 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.