Reports have it that the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services invested R6 million to roll-out free public Wi-Fi in Eastern Cape, and is set to avail the free Wi-Fi to the public.
Siyabonga Cwele, the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services during the launch at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, related that the free public Wi-Fi is a product of the South African government’s National Development Plan, designed to enable a robust information society.
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“We have already connected in Korsten, the licensing department, the Customer Care Centre and the Public Library to free Wi-Fi…Once you have connected to the free public Wi-Fi, you will be allocated 100mb per day on each device you connect at speeds of 10mb/s,” Cwele said.
Discussing the benefits, the Minister said the free public Wi-Fi will help South Africans in their educational affairs.
“Access to the internet is the single most powerful tool we have in combating the inequality experienced in the delivery of quality education. A child with access to internet in Euitenhage has access to the same educational material as any child in the bigger cities and anywhere in the world,” Cwele stated.
He said the free public Wi-Fi will as well, reduce the cost of looking for jobs. According to him, “the struggle becomes even more depressing when money is required to seek employment as one must buy newspapers where adverts are placed, cater for printing costs to distribute CV’s and even pay for transport to interviews when resources are scarce.”
Also, the Minister indicated that the government’s intent is to deliver certain services via online platforms. That to him, “will greatly reduce the queues” experienced at South Africa’s “frontline departments such as the Licensing Departments, Home Affairs and many others.
The Department of Home Affairs has already taken a step towards this direction as we can now apply for ID’s and Passports in some banks,” he added.
With that, Cwele disclosed that the government will soon extend the free public Wi-Fi to metros of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay, Mangaung, Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Meanwhile, BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that R740 million was allocated for the first phase of broadband roll-out over a three-year period to focus on eight districts.