Kenyans should brace themselves for hard economic times as Safaricom has announced an increase in data, SMS and voice call charges.
Safaricom announced new charges for some of its services on Wednesday (17/10/18) following the passing of the Finance Bill 2018 and the subsequent ascent by President Uhuru Kenyatta in September.
The country’s leading telco has been forced to increase its service charges as from midnight Thursday, October 18, 2018, so as to accommodate the new tax requirements.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore pointed out the changes were as a result of the Government’s decision to increase Excise Duty tax applicable on Voice, SMS and Data services.
The State increased the levy from 10 to 15 per cent. This is in addition to the prevailing Value Added Tax applicable to mobile services at the rate of 16 per cent.
“We have since then been undertaking extensive engagement with the Government on the impact, timing and exact nature of services that these taxes will affect.
“As a result of the increased taxes passed in the Finance Act 2018, we wish to notify our customers that from midnight tonight, the 18th October 2018, our headline price for voice calls and data will increase by 30 cents and SMS by 10 cents,” Mr Collymore said in a statement.
Internet users, who rely on the Safaricom mobile data bundles, home and enterprise Fibre will also be affected by the review that has been spawned by the new 15 per cent Excise Duty tax on internet services.
The Safaricom boss stated they were concerned and regretted the anticipated impact of the additional taxes on Safaricom customers.
“It is our sincere hope that these changes will not affect the remarkable gains we have made in mobile phone and internet penetration in Kenya over the last two decades,” Collymore said.