If there were low-cost channels for acquiring content legally, infringement rates would drop. It's not like South Africa is going to have zero access to content just because iTunes isn't there; it's just going to have zero access to legally acquired content for (most) iPhone users. "Because infringement rates are high," this reasoning says, "we refuse to do anything to reduce infringement rates."
It's like refusing to take antibiotics to eliminate infections because you once had an untreated infection result in the removal of a leg at the knee. "Well, hell, if infection already has a history of taking my limbs, I'm certainly not going to dignify it with *my* help trying to reduce infection rates!" The word that comes to mind is "idiotic".
I know more about politics and the legal process in South Africa than most US citizens, for a number of reasons, but I have not put specific effort into finding any information about its copyright circumstances. Given the fact that a privileged class (and, thus, more-educated class) has been subject to systemic efforts to force it out of the country, including frankly genocidal activities by certain groups being essentially ignored by those in the halls of power, the general level of Western assumptions of legal necessity do not penetrate the current culture there nearly as deeply as in countries with legal systems descended from English common law. There are definitely some downsides to this, but if it means that the oppressive current state of copyright legality has not been accepted as the norm in the general South African populace, I think at least one major benefit applies, amongst the many detriments.
That's not to say that common law has anything to say about copyright, of course. It's the bureaucratic legalities of statute that tend to go along with concepts of English common law and similar systems of Western European culture that are to blame. Thank you, Queen Anne (he said facetiously).
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