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ANC compared to old Nokia 3310 as DA Youth launches Mobile Data For All campaign

By Afikile Lugunya - Oct 10, 2017
ANC compared to old Nokia 3310 as DA Youth launches Mobile Data For All campaign

The Democratic Alliance (DA) Youth movement on Monday officially launched its Mobile Data for All campaign at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in Port Elizabeth. 

According to the movement, exorbitant mobile data prices are keeping millions of South Africans from accessing the internet - a basic human right. The campaign aims to ensure change in access to Mobile Data for the benefit of students, the poor, the so-called 'missing middle' and jobseekers.

The Jebe Nangoza Hall was the venue for the renaming of the local Interdenominational African Ministries Association of South Africa (IDAMASA) office to Olivier Reginald Tambo, which was attended by President Jacob Zuma in September, and the DA natutrally had to draw comparisons, claiming that it had pulled in more numbers than the African National Congress (ANC) at that event.

Speaking at the event, Nqaba Bhanga, DA Eastern Cape leader, compared the ANC to the old phone, Nokia 3310 that didn’t use data.

“Years back, we used to use 3310 that is like the ANC. It has no data and internet like the ANC, but the DA Youth promises the new beginning to the future. A new mobile phone that will enable a brighter and better future for all.

“We want to start a new beginning in South Africa where our youth will have data and access information for them to look for jobs and opportunities. We demand to the government of South Africa to give us data so that we can improve our lives," he said.

“The 3310 of Zuma was unable to give us information we want, today is a beginning of a new movement where the youth of our country will tell the government that we demand data.”

He also asked people in the venue to raise their phones and demand data from the government of South Africa.

While addressing the event, Yusuf Cassim, DA Youth Leader, said that the government will not be directly liable for the data costs to the poor.

“We will identify these beneficiaries and who their service providers are. Then they will receive 500MB of mobile data every month, that will be deducted from their network's tax bill - that means that the government doesn’t actually pay for the data," he said.

Cassim said that internet access is important today if South Africa wants to to move forward.

"Amongst the multitude of challenges confronting our youth… joblessness, an unequal and oppressive basic education system, exclusion from skills training and university education, substance abuse etc, the exclusion from information and communication power provided through the internet remains the largest obstacle to the freedom to progress as an individual," he described.

"How can we call ourselves free when half of the South African population have no access to the internet.

"Internet access is more fundamental than rights. It is an economic necessity."

He said that people with no Internet connection, by definition, have less economic power in the 21st century than other people.

"They have less access to training, no way to see over the horizon, their connections to the world are entirely local, except for those few people they maintain contact with by telephone," said Cassim.

"Our people will never be free to live lives they have reason to value so long as they locked out from the internet. Even the SABC had previously announced that they would no longer advertise jobs in the newspaper, directing people to their website.

"This fight didn’t start with #DataMustFall as some would like you to believe. The DA has been fighting this for years."

Cassim also said that very little progress has been made.

"Today, poor young South African are still at the mercy of mobile companies, while these operators continue making soaring profits, becoming extremely rich from high data prices.

"Today as the Democratic Alliance Youth, we are taking a stand," he said.

"We are calling on young people of South Africa to join us in ratcheting up the pressure and ultimately delivering a government that is actually interested in their economic empowerment."

.He said that an allowance of 500MB a month will allow poor students, matrics and jobseekers to access the internet for study purposes and to find work, and government must fund the costs of this allowance to enable poor young South Africans to take advantage of the benefits of the internet.

Also addressing the crowd, the Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip, challenged the Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (DASO) to take over Nelson Mandela University.

“We want NMU to be the home of DASO just like NMMU was the home of DASO, we cannot let another political party take our University,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Councillor Samantha Qaqamba Beynon called on improved internet access and made an example of the rape that occured at the Nelson Mandela University on Monday last week.

“We call upon the ANC to assist students across the country, students of Nelson Mandela were raped at a lab because they didn’t have access to data.

“There are many students who don’t have access to data and have to visit their campuses everyday so that they can complete and submit their assignments online, the DA Youth will provide free data for those students,” she said.