COMMUNICATIONS Minister Siphiwe Nyanda yesterday announced that peak cellphone call rates would be slashed by 36 cents per minute from next year.
Vodacom and Cell C have agreed to slash their rates from February next year, while MTN will implement the new rate from March 1 next year.
This means that from next year cellphone operators will charge no more than 89c per minute for peak call rates.
Nyanda said the off-peak rate would now be 77c per minute.
Announcing the reduction in the National Assembly, Nyanda said: "This is putting money back in the pockets of ordinary South Africans who need it now more than ever."
He described the rates reduction as an "early Christmas present" from the government to the nation.
Nyanda said he would also be reviewing all other telecommunications costs, including rates charged by community phones.