Our government is set to slash communication cost in South Africa says Siyabonga Cwele, the Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister. This will be done to power-up socio-economic development that will create jobs and ultimately, make South Africans happy.
Among other things, Cwele disclosed that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has been directed to look at the cost of data.
“Investing in modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is one of the cross-cutting measures to ignite growth, create jobs and cushion the poor.
The access to fast, reliable and affordable internet is a critical enabler of socio-economic development. It remains the most powerful equalizing tool available to humankind within and between nations,” argued the Minister.
Presenting his debate on the department’s Budget Vote, Cwele bragged that the good brains behind the nation’s government engineered a municipal free Wi-Fi program.
The program according to him, covered several metros, including Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Adding that government ordered that the program be expedited, Cwele stated that R40 million was set aside “to assist those metro municipalities that would demonstrate capacity and plans to spend before the end of March 2016.
“I am pleased to report that Nelson Mandela Bay has completed all 17 sites to provide free connectivity to the people of Zwide, KwaNobuhle, Korsten, KwaMagxaki, Motherwell and KwaZakhele.”
The Minister detailed that Tshwane also completed connecting 61 sites for the benefit of people of Mabopane, Saulsville and Winterveld.
Also, Ekurhuleni has completed their 43 sites in Alberton, Benoni, Daveyton, Springs, Katlehong, Vosloorus, Tembisa, Tsakane and Nigel. Cape Town he said, is about to complete its 28 sites in Athlone, Goodwood, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Harare and Crossroads.
Work is ongoing in Johannesburg to complete 47 sites in Alexandra, Diepsloot, Tsepisong, Ivory Park, Doornkop, Orlando East, Dlamini, Lawley and Protea East.
That’s not all, Mangaung will also, soon complete connecting 35 sites in Bloemfontein, Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo.
“What is most encouraging is that most people use free Wi-Fi for educational content, job opportunities, small business development and marketing.
Free Wi-Fi is daily bridging the digital divide. We encourage all our municipalities to set aside funds for this empowering programme for affordable internet for all. We have learnt from the best practices and stand ready to assist municipalities with sustainable Wi-Fi programmes,” Cwele informed.