According to SAnews.gov.za The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has invested R6m towards the rollout of free public Wi-Fi in the Eastern Cape.
“We have already connected in Korsten, the licensing department, the Customer Care Centre and the Public Library to free Wi-Fi,” says Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele.
Speaking during the launch at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the Minister said the rollout of the free public Wi-Fi affirms government’s commitment to the National Development Plan’s vision of a robust information society and knowledge economy that is both inclusive and prosperous.
“Let me announce that once you have connected to the free public Wi-Fi, you will be allocated 100mb per day on each device you connect at speeds of 10mb/s,” says Minister Cwele.
Government is currently working with the metros of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay, Mangaung, Cape Town and Johannesburg to roll out free Wi-Fi.
“Access to the internet is the single most powerful tool we have in combating the inequality experienced in the delivery of quality education.”
“A child with access to internet in Euitenhage has access to the same educational material as any child in the bigger cities and anywhere in the world,” says Cwele.
He said young people could use the internet to access information about institutions of higher learning and even apply at universities.
According to Minister Cwele, access to the internet through the free public Wi-Fi will cut the cost of looking for employment.
“The struggle becomes even more depressing when money is required to seek employment as one must buy newspapers where adverts are placed, cater for printing costs to distribute CV’s and even pay for transport to interviews when resources are scarce,” he adds.
Minister Cwele said government is moving towards delivering most of its critical services through online platforms as it continues to connect all government institutions to broadband.
“This will greatly reduce the queues that we experience at our frontline departments such as the Licensing Departments, Home Affairs and many others.
“The Department of Home Affairs has already taken a step towards this direction as we can now apply for ID’s and Passports in some banks,” he says.
Government has allocated R740m for the first phase of broadband rollout over a three-year period. The first phase of the project will focus on connecting eight districts.