Broadband is key in fight against poverty – Siyabonga Cwele

2014-09-01 15:48

Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele has called on big corporations to support small and medium enterprises —  especially those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds — in the Information, Communication and Technology sector.

Cwele was speaking at the Southern African Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference in Port Elizabeth.

The theme of this year’s conference is: Ubiquitous Broadband — an enabler to transform lives.

Cwele said government is making efforts to open up the world of broadband and that “government has long realised that access to broadband is important in the fight against unemployment and poverty”.

He said one of the big enablers for fast broadband is competition, which will also lead to the lowering of communication costs.

In keeping with South Africa Connect — the country’s broadband policy and strategy — the government plans to roll out 100% broadband penetration by 2020 and offer more government services online.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa will broaden its spectrum capacity in the short to medium term to enable the broadband roll-out, said Cwele, adding that local municipalities were key to the national broadband roll-out and that all three spheres of government needed to be aligned.

“This alignment is crucial as we seek funding to connect 580 clinics, 4 444 schools, 182 police stations and 572 other government offices in the medium term. This is the foundation for the government’s plan to make broadband universally accessible and for its benefits to reach as many citizens as possible,” he said.

South Africa Connect seeks to enhance democratic participation and enable the broadening of access to opportunities.

The medium-term plan, said Cwele, was that 50% of schools be connected with broadband at 10Mbps and make communication devices affordable.

He said investment in infrastructure will be stepped up and this should get things moving on e-government as well as the provision of Wi-Fi.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.