#DataMustFall – Campaign to sl


#DataMustFall – Campaign to slash the high cost of data starts with Social Media boycott tomorrow

Artist Ntsiki Mazwai is leading the charge against high fees for internet access

#DataMustFall – Campaign to sl


Could you go 24 hours without your Social Media to prove a point? Because that’s what Ntsiki Mazwai is proposing, with a boycott scheduled to last over the whole of Wednesday.

Users across South Africa will be going cold turkey in solidarity with the popular singer, who believes that current data charges are pricing the poorest members of our society out of using the internet, restricting their access to basic information and job opportunities.

The objective is to catch the eye of prominent businesses who depend on Social Media, and to get them asking the same question as ‘people on the ground’.

Mazwai explained why she feels this fight is so important:

“I think the high cost of data has a negative effect on society. It’s a violation of human rights, denying people their rights to information, or access to jobs.

Just one day a week taking away money from social media businesses can help. If it’s not enough, we’ll go over more days until our voice is heard, and felt in their pockets.

We need to know what the government are doing to regulate data – Why do we have a Public Protector? If these structures don’t work for the people, who do they work for?”

It seems her calls for government intervention have already been heeded, thanks to Telecommunication and Postal Services Deputy Director General Tinyoko Ngobeni.

Ngobeni addressed the ‘Internet for All’ initiative, which aims to tackle the barriers to internet usage for the poor: Infrastructure gaps, affordability of data and gadgets, and a lack of digital education all stand in the way of internet inclusivity for all.

He vowed to upgrade all 2G infrastructures to 3G, and is looking to improve the availability of internet-enabled devices for those who are going without.

Read: MTN perform a spectacular u-turn on Twitter usage, annoucing a new capping structure

So already, the waves of change appear to be reaching the shore. If this is something you feel you’d like to contribute to, the boycott begins at 00:00 on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

If not, you at least now have a legitimate excuse for no-one liking your tweets all day. You only get a 24-hour pass with this one, though.