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South Africans mock government's free data promise

South Africans mock government's free data promise
(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 11, 2022 an illustration photo shows a person playing online word game "Wordle" on a mobile phone in Washington, DC. Some four-lett   -  
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South Africa

Social media users in South Africa have ridiculed the government over promise to provide 10 gigabytes (GB) of internet data to households every month.

Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, made the announcement on Tuesday During her speech at the SONA Debate saying: the government is planning to treat internet access as a ‘new basic utility. She added, the internet had become a "new utility like water and electricity".

The minister said a major free data rollout is now in the process.

According to a UK technology blog Ken's tech tips, 10GB of data will allow one to browse the internet for around 120 hours, stream 2,000 songs or to watch 20 hours of standard-definition video.

Whiles some welcomed the news, others doubted the government would deliver on this promise.

“Who is actually believing this ? ” one Twitter said.

others are of the opinion that the government should rather channel the resources for providing free internet to rather create jobs for the youth.

For others, their concern was more on the number of hours the free data would allow beneficiaries to watch movies. "Yay. A few hours of Netflix." another person said in the comment.

In 2021, 60.73% of the South African population were internet users. This share is projected to grow to 66.06% in 2026, according to Statista, an online portal that shares data on internet usage.

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