COPE is angry that we South Africans, according to the SA Race Relation’s finding, are paying ten times more than our British counterparts for broadband that is five times slower.

Fast broadband, in today’s world of business, is as essential as stable electricity supply. The economy and our democracy need both. Only then will we get rapid growth, freedom and prosperity.

The International Telecommunication Union ranked South Africa 137 out of 166 countries in respect of access to broadband last year. Government cannot be blasé about that.

COPE urges government to rise to the ICT challenge. In 2013, only 48.9% of South Africans used the internet. Of these, 28.7% used wireless broadband. Most South Africans have to use mobile phones to consume data. The move todayis from the industrial to the technological and we are seriously lagging behind. This is unacceptable.

In terms of the National Development Plan, broadband has to underpin our information society and knowledge economy. Furthermore it has to do so in an inclusive and equitable manner. Why is the government holding back?

Modern economic enterprises and broadband development go together.

COPE urges government to implement the NDP proposals on broadband immediately and in totality.

South Africans, on their part, must clamour without letting up for cheaper and faster broadband.

Mosiuoa Lekota

Issued by COPE


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