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“How can Vodacom charge R150 or R250 for a gigabyte or two but Telkom charge R25”” – South Africa’s richest woman

Billionaire Wendy Applebaum has slammed Vodacom for its “criminal” data pricing.

Speaking at the Daily Maverick and Nandos media gathering on Thursday, Applebaum accused Vodacom of making massive margins on data prices which it then sent to Vodaphone in the UK.

“How can Vodacom charge R150 or R250 for a gigabyte or two but Telkom can charge R25,” she said.

“Data is eaten up and stolen, it’s utterly disgusting! It’s criminal!”

She further called for an end to ongoing inquiries into data prices and demanded that action be taken against all mobile companies immediately.
History with Vodacom

According to a July 2017 report by Entrepreneur magazine, Applebaum is currently the wealthiest women in South Africa with a net worth of R4.7 billion.

Despite her immense wealth, this is not the first time she has hit out against Vodacom and data prices.

In April 2017, Applebaum instituted legal proceedings against Vodacom over its high out-of-bundle charges.

She said subscribers are not warned they have reached their monthly billing limit, and are then forced to pay high amounts for out-of-bundle usage.

“When cellphone companies do not warn subscribers they are about to go out of bundle, and then force them to make stop-order payments for invoices they have not agreed to, it amounts to fraud,” she said.

Appelbaum reportedly instructed her lawyers to try to persuade Vodacom to change its practices, and said she will “scratch until I draw blood”.
Khabza Mkhize

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