Vodacom, MTN and Cell C are enabling unscrupulous wireless application service providers to steal billions from subscribers; experts warn that a second wave of Covid-19 is waiting, if South Africans drop the ball; data shows how lockdown devastated various sectors; and South Africa’s Information Regulator says it is underfunded and under-supported.
Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: Global Covid-19 infections have hit 23.5 million confirmed, with the death toll reaching 810,000. In South Africa, there have been 1,677 new cases, taking the total reported to 611,450. Deaths have reached 13,159 (an increase of 100), while recoveries have climbed to 516,494, leaving the country with a balance of 94,956 active cases.
Cellular looting: Investigations have uncovered widespread theft of airtime by unscrupulous wireless application service providers (WASPs), enabled by network operators like Vodacom, MTN and Cell C. These WASPs sign cellphone users up to subscription services without their permission, and siphon off small amounts of airtime each day from each person. Insiders suggest that these groups and the mobile networks have effectively stolen billion of rands this way, with little to no consequences. [MyBroadband]
Second wave: Prof Salim Abdool Karim has warned that the current decline in Covid-19 numbers in South Africa isn’t an indication that the worst is over for the country – adding that the risk of a second wave is waiting in the wings, set to strike if people let their guard down and get complacent with…
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