High tariffs scare off Telkom clients

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

As Telkom's price increases take effect, consumers grow increasingly impatient, leaving the operator in droves.

Over the past four years Telkom has seen its landline connections decrease steadily. In 2006 the company lost almost 20000 customers. Last year more than 60000 lines were disconnected.

The company has recently received approval from the Independent Communications of South Africa to increase its basic telephony prices.

However, in today's climate of increased spending pressure on consumers, this move is destined to alienate subscribers even further.

Ina Wilken, South African National Consumer's Union vice-chairperson, said: "Telkom needs to be careful. They need to nurture customers so that when real competition enters the market it will be able to hold on to them."