Tshwane to roll out free Wi-Fi

2013-08-15 14:40
Mobile broadband internet is vital to economic growth. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Mobile broadband internet is vital to economic growth. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The City of Tshwane announced on Thursday that it was embarking on a programme to provide free Wi-Fi to residents.

The rollout is part of the city's plan to embrace digital technologies and includes a range of measures designed to facilitate access to internet services at lower cost.

"The City has recently partnered with Project Isizwe to rollout free Wi-Fi throughout Tshwane. The benefits to the local community are numerous, including access to information, education; employment opportunities. There is no administrative burden for the City and the solution is easy to use," the city said in a statement.

Over the last two years the city has connected 100 sites with Wi-Fi, including offices, libraries and its customers care centres.

The project is intended to form part of the city's strategy to boost economic growth through technology.

Efficient services

"We are saying as a city that a lot of work has been done since 1994, but the challenge of unemployment and inequality remains," Msizi Myeya, executive director for Strategic Development in the City of Tshwane told News24.

The City of Tshwane embarked on a Vision 2055 programme meant to focus the metro on first class service delivery for residents by 2055, 100 years after the adoption of the Freedom Charter.

Myeya said that the way technology is used within the city would be key to rolling our efficient services.

"If your send me an e-mail inquiring about your account, I must be able to say your bill is incorrect and I will able to sort it out in two days' time," he said.

The Vision 2055 programme seeks to use technology to enable government to more efficiently deliver services, though Myeya conceded that having qualified personnel was critical to ensure delivery.

"The strategy is made up of six outcomes and one of the outcomes is: How do we get government to work? Just basically to say that if you are qualified to get a job, you are appointed and perform your duties."

The City of Cape Town has begun a limited programme of Wi-Fi access the Company Gardens, and libraries in Johannesburg have some Wi-Fi areas.

Locations

The City of Tshwane said that it intended to provide free internet access to five locations by November 2013.

"Locations identified as part of phase 1 are: TUT Soshanguve Campus, University of Pretoria - Hatfield Campus, Tshwane North College,  Mamelodi Community Centre and Church Square in the Pretoria CBD."

The city made no bones about its intention to drive Wi-Fi and internet access as a priority.

"The purpose of this initiative is to bring Wi-Fi connectivity to every household, every street and every corner," the city said.


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