The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published a new draft amendment. Big deal. That happens often. But this one, amending the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Amendment Regulations of 2018, actually is a big deal.
See, it deals with a few very specific things. But the one that is most notable is how long your mobile data must last. Specifically, mobile data purchased from mobile operators must last at least six months. That means no more having leftover data disappearing after eight weeks or so.
ICASA’s data mine
ICASA’s draft proposes amending Regulation 8B of the 2018 act. There’s a section in there that will make end-users happy. Vodacom, MTN, and the rest… a little less so. The section reads: “Unused data and data services obtained through either prepaid or post-paid channels shall not expire before expiry of a period of 6 months, except for promotional packages.”
Translation? As long as you haven’t explicitly bought your data to last a day or a week, at a reduced rate, your data allocation must last six months before expiring. The same goes for voice minutes and SMS. Regulation 8A is also being amended, meaning that your airtime, whether post- or pre-paid, must remain valid for at least six months. Or until you use it up. The promotional caveat still applies, of course.
This is still a draft amendment, but ICASA is inviting written submissions on the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Fourth Amendment Regulations 2021. These need to be in by 18 May 2022. Or forever hold your peace.