There is a local saying that ‘anyone who does not look behind him once in a while is apt to be ungrateful to God’. South Africans are treading that line of ingratitude, considering their recent #DataMustFall campaign.
The campaign launched by On-Air Personality Thabo Molefe is a cry for cheaper Internet service for mobile subscribers in the country. “Young people should be able to enjoy the benefits of e-learning by downloading textbooks online or catching up on a lecture on YouTube, but they can’t do that because everything revolves around data and WiFi,” he tweeted.
The campaign has gathered momentum with the hashtag trending on most of the nation’s social media platforms, with claims that cheaper internet services will improve education and other services. Also, South Africa ranks 66th in the world in the list of pricing for data services.
While the South Africans may feel they are entitled to lower prices, they have forgotten to look back at other African countries. Currently, the International Telecommunication Union data shows that South Africa pay relatively the cheapest for data services on the continent. They pay just 1.5% of their average monthly income to access 500MB of data which is cheap compared to Nigeria (5.4%), Kenya (5.9%) and Liberia (59%).
So while they cry for improvements, they should silently thank their God for how good they have it.
Parts of this article originally appeared in BBC News.