Newly-appointed communications minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has said that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) is ready to receive complaints related to the theft of mobile phone data.
Responding to oral questions, the minister made her maiden appearance in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday in her new communications portfolio.
The EFF’s Nkagisang Mokgotsi had asked whether the department has conducted an investigation into the alleged theft of customers’ mobile data.
The minister, who had chaired hearings on the cost of data under the banner #DataMustFall, said Icasa was yet to receive complaints.
“The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has established a complaints and compliance committee, in terms of section 17(a) of the Icasa Act number 13 of 2000, to investigate, hear and, if appropriate, make a finding on all matters referred to the authority and complaints received by it.
“To date, the authority has not received any information regarding the theft of data. However, upon receipt of such information, a detailed investigation will be conducted and a report can be available,” she said.
MTN and Vodacom
In an expose’ by MyBroadband earlier this year, MTN confirmed that it was erroneously depleting data on LTE-connected phones.
MTN said the charges in question could affect less than 3% of MTN’s customer base, and do not occur during 3G or 2G/EDGE data sessions.
It subsequently fixed the issue – as confirmed by MyBroadband.
Vodacom has also come under fire for “disappearing airtime” with the Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services announcing that it plans to investigate why many Vodacom users’ data suddenly disappeared over a week in August.
“Although the company has apologised to the customers and committed not only to refund them, but also to give them a 500MB bundle valid for three days, the Committee feels strongly that the matter should be investigated by an independent body,” the ministry said in a statement.