Help save WhatsApp, Skype, Google Hangouts, and more by signing this petition now!
Mobile monopolies Vodacom and MTN have petitioned the South African government to 'regulate' free phone and message providers such as WhatsApp and Skype.
They are doing so claiming that they are losing profits to these alternative communication systems. Systems that help the people of South Africa stay in touch with friends and family, build and manage businesses, and communicate internationally.
Well, of course, they are losing profits! They have been overcharging (among the highest cell phone and SMS rates worldwide) since they started. Only Telkom's 'double charges' are worse.

Imagine life without WhatsApp?

… or Skype - or the other apps you use daily to communicate with friends and colleagues?
Yes, they use data, but they're still much cheaper than a text message or SMS. Call (especially city-to-city and international calls).
And when we have access to free wi-fi at work or our favorite restaurants, WhatsApping a friend or Skyping a business connection is free!
What's more, millions of South Africans (especially young and poor) have discovered that they can make free calls and send free messages. Cell phone providers still benefit due to their exorbitant data rates.
Millions continue to sign up for these alternative 'nearly free' communication services. But the cell phone companies want to put a stop to this.
If the government really wants to anger the people of South Africa, they will go along with MTN and Vodacom.
They will tell the service providers to get lost if they want to support their citizens.
Sign the petition now!
#SaveWhatsApp - South Africa's leading online women's magazine - calls upon you to sign this petition and to forward it as widely as possible to your friends and fellow workers - on your own behalf and on behalf of the millions of (especially young) South Africans who will suffer if MTN and Vodacom get their way.
The petition will be sent to Ms Mmamoloko Tryphosa Kubayi, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal ServicesFaith MuthambiMinister of Communications and the Presidency.
Play your role. #SaveWhatsApp: Sign this petition and urge your friends to sign by sharing this!

Quotes from our readers:

Ryan: "Funny how South Africa looks to regulate everything that doesn't serve the government's (not the country's) pocket. To MTN and Vodacom, your time at the top is slowly being challenged, so how about you get involved in the competitive market before you're taken up in the swell and lost for good. Frankly, I can't wait for the day that those who have held the monopoly for so long see their ass. If South Africa is to grow as a nation, we need to understand the idea of healthy competition. WhatsApp simply shows that data rates can be sold at much cheaper rates without exploiting the user. #monopoliesmustfall"
Ronell: "The government must just leave WhatsApp and the other OTTs alone. They cannot assist us with getting networks to lower their prices for calls and data as they should. Most of the countries in the rest of Africa have free wi-fi wherever you go, and we must suffer under the likes of Vodacom and MTN etc."
yodata5: "Vested interests and SA is theirs to do with as they please."
Lana: "I agree fully. They need to leave WhatsApp and the other OTTs alone."