South Africa Competition Commission Data inquiry

Dr Onkokame Mothobi, RIA’s senior researcher is participating in South Africa’s Competiton Commission inquiry into the market for data services in South Africa – Data Services Market Inquiry. The inquiry serves to examine whether there are features or a combination of features in data services markets which prevent, distort or restrict competition and/or to achieve the purposes of the Competition Act, No. 89 of 1998 (as amended) (“the Act”) – (Competition Commission, 2018)

RIA’s main points on our submission are as follows:

  • South Africa performs poorly in the RAMP Index, coming 35 out of 49 African countries. The cost of cheapest 1 GB in South Africa  (USD 8.28, ZAR 99) is eight times the cost of cheapest 1 GB in Egypt (USD1.13).  However, in a regulated data environment a number of  other important factors are to be considered when comparing prices such as coverage and coverage of services.
  • The dominance of MTN and Vodacom in terms of subscriber market share and revenue share allows these two operators to re-invest in their infrastructure and offer higher quality than the two small operators.
  • Coverage and quality of service are important, with even price sensitive users choosing to pay premium for quality of service.
  • Despite prices being high in South Africa as compared to other African countries, the After Access survey shows that South Africa performs well in Internet use, with about 53% of South Africans using the Internet.

Download the presentation here and watch Day 1 of the enquiry here.

RIA’s full submission is available here.