3 Things That Would Be Awesome For South Africans

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Earlier in this week I highlighted 5 Things that Frustrate South Africans in 2009. I must admit that there was a certain grade of negativity in that post. To restore karmic balance to this blog I’ve decided to do a post that’s a little more positive, although it sadly deals with things we can only dream about at this stage in South Africa, but at least we are still allowed to dream.

A Crime Free South Africa: Currently South Africa still has one of the highest crime rates in the world. Between April 2008 and March 2009 there were just over 18,000 murders in South Africa (quite scary if you think about it). Many South Africans dream about a crime free society. It would really be nice to be able to walk around in Hillbrow in Johannesburg without being mugged or shot at. It would also be nice to be able to park your car anywhere and leave the windows open without worrying about whether it will be there or not when you return.

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It would be nice not to have the fear of being a victim of crime in South Africa. To sort this problem out action is required by more than one aspect of South African society. We need more police in South Africa. South Africans should report crimes to the SAPS (some people still don’t). The Judicial system also needs to be reviewed in my opinion. Criminals should not have more rights than ordinary citizens in South Africa.

Cheaper Satellite TV: Currently South Africa only has 1 satellite TV service, DSTV. It’s not a bad service. If you drive around most suburbs in the metropolitan areas of South Africa DSTV satellite dishes can be seen on the roofs of many of the houses and townhouses. I would not mind having DSTV but there just isn’t a package for me.

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Currently I’m considering one of the following 3 options:

  • DSTV Premium – The full package of more than 80 television channels – R499 p/m
  • DSTV Compact – A slightly smaller package which includes only 1 of the numerous Supersport Channels (Supersport 3) and no Mnet – R219 p/m
  • DSTV Select 1 – A limited package without the premium channel Mnet and Supersport channels. Includes Hallmark and Mnet Series – R148 p/m
  • DSTV Select 2 – A limited package without the premium channel Mnet and Supersport channels. Includes Kyknet and MK – R148 p/m

The DSTV premium package is not bad, but at R499 p/m its a little pricey for yours truly. Because I want to be able to watch most of the sport shown on DSTV I wouldn’t mind having a package with Supersport 1 and 2 (the 2 main sports channels on DSTV), but this is not included into any of the cheaper packages. South Africa’s premium Pay TV channel, Mnet (a lot like Sky One in the United Kingdom) shows decent TV series but is also not included in any of the cheaper packages. Why not introduce a package which allows users to choose the channels they want? This makes a lot of sense in this blogger’s mind. There has also been plans to introduce a 2nd Satellite TV operator in South Africa. Many companies were competing for the bid, but so far progress has been very slow (and media coverage has been fairly low in South Africa). If the 2nd operator is introduced the price on the DSTV Premium package might be reduced, who knows? Only time will tell.

Cheaper Telecommunications: It’s too expensive in South Africa to communicate. Companies are paying thousands of Rands to use the internet and for phone systems. If telecommunications were cheaper in SA the money that is paid for telecommunications could be diverted to create another position for a person at a company. Cheaper telecommunications will fuel job creation and economic development in South Africa. When will people realize that? 1 extra network operator is not enough, we need a few more of them. Competition will drive down prices.

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My own opinion is that this industry is over regulated in SA and that major and new players in the industry should be allowed to properly spread wings. I feel that the recent pressure placed by ICASA on the Mobile Phone networks to reduce the interconnection rates between networks is a step in the right direction. Let’s hope positive progress is made in this field in South Africa. It is of the utmost importance that the telecommunications cost is reduced in this country otherwise we might not be considered as a developing country anymore.

Watch this space for updates in the Opinion category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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