The policy issues range from land reform to the cost of data regulation and correcting the gender-based pay disparity. The debates give us insight into the policy decisions of political parties in the lead up to the elections next year.
The cost of data continues to receive a great deal of attention. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa is conducting a market inquiry into the costs while the parliamentary committee on telecommunications is holding public hearings on the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill.
I was disappointed to read MTN’s submissions to the parliamentary committee. MTN indicated in its written submissions that the bill was “unconstitutional, would violate property rights and discourage investment in the industry. The emotive nature of the language MTN used was what we would expect from AfriForum - not from one of biggest telecoms providers in Africa.
It is one thing to quote the Constitution when it benefits you - but our Constitution is not selective. When read in its entirety, it aims to treat all citizens equally. The concept of equality is a golden thread throughout the document. Yet, South Africa has become one of, if not the most, unequal countries in the world.