R1.2 billion set aside to improve internet connectivity in the Western Cape

The Western Cape Government announced that they have set aside R1.2 billion to help improve the city’s internet connectivity. The plan is to help the city and rural residents get free or affordable high-speed internet connections.

Speaking to CapeTalk presenter Kieno Kammies, the Western Cape Finance MEC Ivan Meyer said that the Western Cape government’s vision is to roll-out free Wi-Fi internet access everywhere in the Western Cape, in every ward across the province.

The Western Cape government's key focus

  • The Western Cape has 2000 government buildings (schools and clinics) and those are the first to be connected to the free internet. 1250 schools will be connected to high-speed broadband and receive Wi-Fi.
  • In addition: The Western Cape government wants to bring revolutionised education through e-learning and smart classrooms.
  • They also want to create free hot spots in particular areas so that businesses, particularly small businesses in rural areas, can also have fast internet access.
  • The Thusong centres across the Western Cape will also have free internet access.
  • The roll-out will also include rural libraries across the province where school children would be able to have internet access to do their school work. This will be done through the rural ICT network.

The vision is clear; we want to fundamentally transform the Western Cape and citizens must have access to this digital world. We also do this to bridge the digital divide between the rich and poor communities and between urban and rural communities.

The R1.2 billion is part of the R52 billion budget for the financial year which commence in April 2015. R30 million will be set aside “to cut red tape” which has frustrated the establishment and development of private enterprise.

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