File Image: IOL

CAPE TOWN- Right2Know (R2K) KZN will picket at Fairmont Zimbali Resort in Ballito where SADC Ministers will be meeting on Tuesday.

The overarching objective of the SADC Ministers for Communications and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Programme is to establish communications systems that are accessible, affordable, efficient, reliable, of a high quality and fully integrated to meet the diverse requirements and to ensure connectivity to the citizens of the SADC Region.

“As R2K KZN, we believe this event is an opportunity for critical reflection on the state of telecommunications in the Southern African region. R2K calls on all SADC Telecommunication ministers to ensure that the people have access to telecommunication infrastructure and that the cost of data and airtime is affordable to all people in the region,” said R2K in a statement.

“Our call to bring down the cost of communication is a continuous campaign that is aimed at all countries in the region. As the region prepares for digital migration, ICT ministers must take note that spectrum is a highly valuable natural resource for people of this region and ensure that this resource is used for the benefit of the people of this region and not for profiteering purposes,” R2K said.

Furthermore, R2K added that “it is saddening to note that the region is way behind its own set timelines for the completion of digital migration. Providing affordable universal services and access to communication services to poor and rural areas in Southern Africa should be of great concern to policy makers. It is our hope that the Ministers will prioritise this in their deliberations in Durban”.