First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We write for you

It’s a public service and we refuse to erect a paywall and force you to pay for truth. Instead, we ask (nicely and often) that those of you who can afford to, become a Maverick Insider and help with whatever you can. In order for truth not to become a thing of the past, we need to keep going.

Currently, 18,000 (or less than 0.3%) of our brave and generous readers are members; which says a lot about their characters and commitment to our country. These people are paying for a free service in order to keep it free for everyone.

They are the true South AfriCANs.(Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.)

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Government goes for the cellphone jugular – at last

Defend Truth

Government goes for the cellphone jugular – at last

South Africa’s cellphone operators (especially MTN and Vodacom) are masters at frustrating regulators and negotiating themselves into plum positions. Perhaps they tried those old tricks and, for their trouble, got the carpet-bombing response. Or perhaps this is a replay of the mining royalties saga, where the impossible demands of government turn out to be a tactic rather than a goal. Either way, the department of communications on the weekend said it would demand cost price interconnect rates from cellphone operators by November. Cost reductions of up to 50% have been mooted. And never mind that the deadline is a logistical impossibility, or that the impact on corporate earnings would be apocalyptic. But it wouldn’t be surprising if thousands of beleaguered and frustrated consumers already have the bubbly on ice. Now we’ll get to see how good these operators really are at the classic charm offensive.

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted