The Telecommunications Action Group (TAG) will publish a full-page advert on Friday in the Mail & Guardian to highlight the dismal state of telecoms in South Africa.
"We took this action because, as consumers, we are tired of the exorbitant costs of telecommunications in South Africa and the poor service from Telkom," says Alastair Otter, editor of local open source newsite Tectonic and a founder of the TAG campaign.
The advert was paid for by individual consumers who donated between R100 and R1000 towards the campaign and calls on all consumers to challenge the telecoms status quo.
"Since we started this campaign we have heard countless stories from consumers who have been trying for months, sometimes even years, to have telephone lines and broadband Internet connections installed," says Otter.
"And with just a single fixed-line provider in the country there is no alternative to users but to accept the poor service.
"On top of this, South Africa has telecommunications costs that are among the highest in the world and these costs are a significant barrier to all South Africans benefiting from the information age."
The advert will highlight Telkom's ongoing monopoly in the local telecoms sector, as well as the lack of action by government and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to change the situation.
"Icasa is charged with regulating the telecoms sector for the benefit of all South Africans," Otter says. "However, its lack of political will has ensured that Telkom has been allowed to profit financially while the country has waited for years for alternative operators to be licenced.
"We initiated this campaign as individual consumers who had had enough," Otter adds. "We hope that this first step will encourage others to take action as we have."