Vodacom  South Africa has unveiled a plan to reduce data prices by R2.7 billion for its cash-strapped customers with effect from April 1, after reaching an agreement with the Competition Commission.  
The mobile giant said as part of the range of initiatives to address societal challenges,  it would slash the price of its 1GB of data by 34 percent to R99 from R149 on all channels. 
The company expects to provide discounts on all 30-day bundles while further decreases will be effected on 1 April 2021. It also committed to expand its zero-rated offering to all schools, universities and T-Vet colleges across the country to ensure that learners and students enrolled into these institutions are able to access relevant information for free via their portals.
Speaking to journalists in Pretoria, Vodacom Group chief executive, Shameel Joosub, said that the company decided to engage with the commission following the release of the Competition Commission’s Final Data Market Inquiry Report in December last year.
The inquiry found that  South African data prices were excessive and recommended that there was scope for MTN and Vodacom to cut its prices by between 30 percent and 50 percent.
“The agreement struck with the Commission provides us with an opportunity to enter into a Social Contract with the regulators, our customers and the people of South Africa to bring down the cost to communicate and promote digital inclusion,” Joosub said adding that in terms of the agreement, and following confirmation by the Tribunal, Vodacom would 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,” said Joosub.


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