President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses parliament during his State of the Nation Address. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA

Parliament - President Cyril Ramaphosa called upon telecommunications companies to bring down the cost of data during his third State of the Nation Address on Thursday. 

During the joint sitting of Parliament, Ramaphosa said government would expand the high tech industry by ensuring that the legal and regulated framework promoted innovation, scaled up skills development for young people and reduced data costs. 

Ramaphosa said to provide impetus to the process, within the next month, the Minister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, would issue the policy direction to Icasa to commence the spectrum licensing process. 

“Wherever we have gone young people have continuously raised the issue of the excessive high data costs in South Africa.” 

“This process will include measures to promote competition, transformation, inclusive growth of the sector and universal access.” 

Ramaphosa said that bringing down the cost of data was vital and essential for economic development and unleashing opportunities for young people. 

“We call on the telecommunications industry further to bring down the cost of data so that it is in line with other countries of the world,” Ramaphosa said. 

African News Agency/ANA