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Arthur Masoma
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Bridging digital divide in SA is a myth

10 February 2014, 10:14

The gap between the access of individuals, organizations, households to name but a few at different socio-economic levels to ICTs and internet usage remains a problem in South Africa. Sad and very sad that for the first time I log in a computer was when I did my first year at University of Limpopo and still I was required to do a five page assignment and type it in three days which took me three full sleepless nights typing before I could finish.

For as long as we continue to consume everything that others produce and yet produce nothing that others can consume we will never bridge the digital divine in South Africa. Learners who attend school and live in urban areas have easy access to computers, internet services unlike those who live in rural areas and worse part is they are all required to pass with good grades. There are ICT projects that South Africa is trying to invest in but they still not benefiting the “have-nots” of this country.

If our government together with private sectors can work together to ensure digital villages, I can assure that South Africa  would do very well in terms of its educational system as well as infrastructure is concerned. There are still no electronic learning centers in most areas but we proclaim to be bridging the digital divine. This huge difference between urban and rural area has to come to an end because it is the one that leads to many service delivery protest which one cannot blame them as they live under conditions that I never thought in these 20 years of democracy we can still find citizens living in.

Political leadership which lacks the necessary drive to bring about change in the public sector is one of the biggest obstacles to development in bringing digital divine in South Africa. For as much as the cost of computers and internet connectivity are high, there is no way we are going to bridge the digital divine in South Africa, it just a myth.

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