Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni,

the The South African government’s plan to have every household get 10GB of free data per month seems like a pipe dream for now.

Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni pledged that the government would provide 10GB of free data to every household in South Africa, regardless of income level.

She made the promise during a joint state of the nation debate on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.

The allocation of basic data will be similar to the provision of essential municipal water and electricity services to households in need.

In a written response to parliamentary questions of Zandile Majozi of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Ntshavheni did not provide an exact date when the plan will be rolled out.

“A specific feasibility study relating to 10 GB data has not been undertaken, however, the SA Connect Phase 2 proposal borrows from the principles of universal access to basic and essential services (e.g. water, electricity, etc.). ‘electricity and data being the next step),’ Ntshavheni wrote.

“Recognizing the negative impact of the digital divide, particularly in rural and underserved areas, the 10GB allocation statement is a statement of intent to bridge this divide.”

Ntshavheni added that the proposed timeline parallels the rollout of the revised SA Connect model, which is expected to be completed over the next 3 years starting April 1, 2022.