Photo: AP/John Minchillo
South Africans fed-up with the high prices charged for data by network providers are encouraged to join the #SocialMediaBlackout campaign, which will take place on June 21.

The campaign, spearheaded by activist Ntsiki Mazwai, urges users to not buy data or make use of any social media platforms on the day, in a bid to force network providers to lower their data prices.

The campaign gained traction online, with users encouraging a boycott as a way to take a stand against the high cost of data.

Speaking of the campaign, Mazwai explained it was formed out of frustration at the high data prices charged in South Africa.

"Our data prices are very high compared to other countries and this is unfair, especially to ordinary, struggling South Africans," she said.

"Starting this campaign was also a way to put the data debate back on the table and show the unfair competition."

Mazwai explained that the campaign would run for the next three Wednesdays and would see a "shutdown" take place from 12am-12am.

Should this plan fail to elicit a positive response, Mazwai explained the campaign would be taken further and would see users encouraged to to switch to a network provider that provided data at a cheaper price.

She added anyone was welcome to contribute to the project, adding that it was all about ordinary citizens taking a stand against "classists".

"We want show corporates our economic power and get them to lower their high data prices permanently," she said.

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