Free WiFi to brighten youth’s future

2017-08-16 06:02
Free WiFi coverage will be available in the whole Oppenheimer Park and vicinity, including the Luka Jantjie university building, the Northern Cape TVET College and the High Court. From the left are Goolam Akharwaray (Sol Plaatje municipal manager), Nomande Kesiamang (municipal manager: strategy, economic development and planning), Abel Madonsela (De Beers corporate affairs manager) and Prof. Yunus Ballim (SPU vice chancellor), testing the WiFi network on the day of the launch.Photo: Boipelo Mere

Free WiFi coverage will be available in the whole Oppenheimer Park and vicinity, including the Luka Jantjie university building, the Northern Cape TVET College and the High Court. From the left are Goolam Akharwaray (Sol Plaatje municipal manager), Nomande Kesiamang (municipal manager: strategy, economic development and planning), Abel Madonsela (De Beers corporate affairs manager) and Prof. Yunus Ballim (SPU vice chancellor), testing the WiFi network on the day of the launch.Photo: Boipelo Mere

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There is no more excuse for lack of access to information when you have a smartphone and you are in the Kimberley Central Business District.

This is thanks to the partnership between the Sol Plaatje University (SPU), De Beers, the Sol Plaatje Municipality and local government.

The stakeholders made it possible to use free Wifi at the Oppenheimer Park and it has been available since Thursday (10/08).

The WiFi coverage will be available in the park and its nearby vicinity, including the Luka Jantjie university building, the Northern Cape TVET College and the High Court.

This project, according to SPU vice chancellor Prof. Yunus Ballim, is an effort to change the institutional culture of the park that has been utilised for the wrong reasons.

“We want to change the culture to one where citizens take the park over from unacceptable behaviour like alcohol and littering. We would like citizens to assist in changing that culture.”

According to Ballim, the university has already been keeping the park neat and tidy over the past three years.

“What we now would like to do is make this the safest park in the city by encouraging eyes in the park and eyes on the street.”

He added that they have been working with the municipality to ensure that citizens are safe when they are in the park. In an effort to monitor misuse of the WiFi system, Ballim said that data collection and analysis of users will be done through a registration process.

“When you first log on, you will be asked for your details to get a sense of what kind of people frequents the service.

“Secondly, there will be a few restrictions regarding the usage of internet in order to avoid too much watching of videos and movies and video downloading,” he said.

He said reasonable access to basic information, such as job hunting and social media, should not be a problem.

Ballim added that the objective of the project is to give internet access to people who do not have access to data.

De Beers invested more than R300 000 on the infrastructure of the project.

Corporate affairs manager, Abel Modonsela, expressed how excited they were to be on board as partners due to the fact that the world revolves around technology.

“This was an opportunity for us to ensure that people have access to information, globalisation, education and access to being creative, especially students.”

Welcoming the initiative with excitement, acting premier Norman Shushu said the accessibility of WiFi will enable the community, including the youth, to access information easily. This will help to broaden their horizons. He encouraged the youth to make use of the available websites and seek for jobs, apply to learning institutions and look for business opportunities using the free WiFi service.

He urged the community to participate meaningfully in the knowledge economy through utilising the service to promote their brands.

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