Port Elizabeth – The Democratic Alliance (DA) launched its #Data4All campaign at the Jebe Nangoza Centenary Hall in New Brighton yesterday (Monday 9th). The full hall had youth that came as far as Fort Hare University to attend the launch.
Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, spoke at the launch saying that cell phones have changed in the last couple of years as they were used primarily for voice.
“[Cell phones] they have changed dramatically in the past 20 years, these instruments [cell phones] are now more focused on data because without data usemnyameni – left in the dark. The cell phone companies hardly make money out of selling airtime to voice charges. Their big income is data and data is too expensive for poor people.”
He further said that if poor people have no access to data they will remain poor and that he is making an appeal to government to ensure that the youth have access to data.
“We want to use the innovation and the minds of young people that are able to absorb information and those that are able to make these work, we want to empower them with accessibility to data. Lack of data must fall.”
The roll out of the 500 megabytes of data will be aimed at poor missing middle university students, matric learners and jobseekers that are on the jobseeker’s database. Addressing the packed hall – DA Youth National Chairperson, Yusuf Cassim, questioned how South Africa can be deemed as free when half of the country has no access to the internet.
“Internet access is more than just a fundamental right, it is an economic necessity. People with no internet access by definition have less economic power in the 21st century, they won’t have access to jobs and other opportunities. “
Cassim further said that this campaign did not stem from the #DataMustFall online campaign as the DA had already raised the matter in parliament in 2013. He said that he demands that the government release mobile spectrum and that it must achieve digital migration.
Human Settlements MMC Councillor Nqaba Bhanga also took a swipe at the ANC saying that the DA youth promises a new future.
“Years back, we had the telephone called the 3310, 3310 is like the African National Congress. It has no data, no internet like the ANC. The DA youth promises a new begging for the future, a new mobile phone that will enable young people in this country to have a new beginning, a new future and a new model for #Data4All.”
Cllr further said that he wants mobile phones and data that will create jobs and employment for youth to grow the economy and freedom.
The launch had entertainment from National Acts such as Richard Saunders, NaakMusiq and local dancers.