The portfolio committee on telecommunications and postal services held the second day of public hearings into the cost to communicate on Wednesday.
Dillon Mann, of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), told the committee that a global survey of 10 000 people across ten countries revealed that women in poor areas have restricted access.
“The key barrier was price, but it is compounded by income inequality between genders,” Mann said.
“We really must
Mann said the survey revealed 37% of women surveyed were internet users, as opposed to 59% of men.
Women who were politically active offline were twice as likely to use the internet.
The gender disparity also had a direct relationship with education.
However, 24% of men with only primary school education were active internet users, compared to 11% of women.
Those who completed high school, 58% of men used the internet, compared to 43% of women.
“As we investigate public access programmes, we must make sure they target women and girls too,” Mann said.
A4AI regional head Onica Makwakwa said income inequality in general also masked the true picture of internet access.
“The lowest income earners, the bottom 20%, are spending up to 14% of their income on basic broadband access,” said Makwakwa.
“If you look at the top 20% of income earners, they spend less than half a percent on the same broadband,” Makwakwa added.
The UN recommends 500MB should cost less than 5% of income for all income groups, she said.
Makakwa said that broadband policy should breakdown reporting by income groups, and expand public access programmes.
Emphasis should also be on community-owned networks.
Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!
No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.
Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.
It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.
But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.
So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.
A lightning bolt is 5 times hotter than the sun's surface.