Data in South Africa is the most expensive in the world and cellphone companies are making super-profits from it, but MTN still uses the plight of informal settlement residents to get free advertising.
Several DSTV dishes appear dotted on shack rooftops as you drive past the area from the N2 Highway near Borcherds Quarry in Cape Town.
Kanana Informal Settlement adjacent to Barcelona in Gugulethu was established in 1992 and consists of about 4,000 residents.
The area is hit hard by floods every winter as well as shack fires that sometimes result in deaths.
This densely populated shack settlement has been electrified and has got 1,214 bucket system toilets with some residents sharing them while others got toilets installed in their homes.
There are also more than 40 communal water taps.
Local residents say they enjoy pay TV because it not only helps to update them on international entertainment but also prevents their children from loitering after school, especially during the winter school holidays, keeping them indoors.