Poet and activist Ntsiki Mazwai has called for South Africans to boycott all social media platforms for 24 hours.
The hashtag #datamustfall is currently trending on Twitter as people call for an end to high data prices. Mazwai has joined the social media blackout campaign, saying: “The social media blackout is a campaign that is aimed at lowering data prices. Data costs are obscene and are not affordable for people on the ground. We want to bring attention to this issue; we want to engage government and cellular network companies. We don’t buy data for 24 hours, we will meet back on social media the following day to discuss the way forward. Why should data expire after 30 days when you’ve paid for it?”
She has encouraged people to take part in the campaign because accessing information is far too expensive. “We keep talking about #feesmustfall but how must students access information or hand in assignments if data costs are so high? This has a negative impact on entrepreneurs and our families because we can’t communicate with them.”
Mazwai explained that the rising price of data strips the poor of their rights to information and jobs. There has been no response yet from providers on whether prices will be dropped.
The blackout will start tomorrow, 21st June and will last 24 hours.