Monthly Archives: June 2016

TshWi-Fi scores international award

The City of Tshwane has received international recognition at the World Wi-Fi Day Awards for Most Innovative City or Government Program to bridge the Digital Divide.

The award was bestowed during a ceremony in England at the Wireless Global Congress, currently being held in Liverpool. The awards celebrate the success stories across the world that are connecting the unconnected and contributing to global socio-economic development.

An award in this category recognises cities, governments and organisations that develop local and national plans to bridge the digital divide. Shortlisted projects must evidence the successful implementation of comprehensive Wi-Fi solutions, which innovatively overcome the challenges and complexities associated with these large-scale projects.

The Tshwane Free Wi-Fi (knowns as TshWi-Fi) has brought 1.8 million citizens in the Capital City online in the biggest deployment of municipal Free Wi-Fi on the African continent. The roll out has been made possible through the city’s collaborative partnership with Project Isizwe. Together, Tshwane and the South African NGO have built relationships and developed innovative and feasible financial and technical solutions to make the roll out possible.

The City of Tshwane, with Project Isizwe as the implementing partner, was shortlisted in this category alongside Intersection and Liquid Telecom — two internationally recognised providers in the deployment of Wi-Fi.

“Our free Wi-Fi project has radically undermined the adverse effects of unaffordable internet access by narrowing the hitherto glaring digital divide.

“We will continue to be a shining example of what it means to employ the use of technology to lead the way towards a South Africa that is democratic, inclusive, united and prosperous – ours will be the global Cyber Capital,” said Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa.

“An award in this category showcases the need for relationship building and partnership with local government in the provision of Free Wi-Fi for South African citizens. Just like electricity and water, internet is a human right which we are working closely with municipalities to enable,” said Project Isizwe CEO Zahir Khan.

Project Isizwe was also shortlisted in the category: Best Wi-Fi Deployment to Connect the Unconnected in Rural Environment for the organisation’s Limpopo project. The prize in this category was awarded to Liquid Telecom for their Free Wi-Fi project in Nakuru County, Kenya.

Source: Government Communication and information System


South Africans have been invited to nominate candidates from all walks of life who they believe deserve to receive the country’s highest awards, the National Orders.

The next National Orders awards investiture ceremony will take place in April 2017, honouring South Africans and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed to the achievement of a free, united, non-racial, democratic, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa in various ways.

Also to be honoured will be citizens who have sacrificed life and limb to save others and those who have excelled in various fields.

The ceremony contributes towards unity, reconciliation and nation building and the Grand Patron of the National Orders, the South African president, has invited the nominations before the Aug 31, 2016 deadline.

The six orders which are bestowed are:

* The Order of Mendi for Bravery which recognizes South African citizens who have performed acts of bravery;

* The Order of Ikhamanga which recognizes South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport;

* The Order of the Baobab which recognizes South African citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation;

* The Order of Luthuli which recognizes South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, nation-building, building democracy and human rights, justice and peace as well as for the resolution of conflict:

* The Order of Mapungubwe which recognizes South Africans who have excelled and attained exceptional achievement to the benefit of South Africa and beyond; and

* The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo which recognizes eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an Order of peace, co-operation and active expression of solidarity and support.



Two hundred parties and 61,014 candidates will contest the 2016 South African local government elections on Aug 3, the Electoral Commission announced here Wednesday.

The compilation and certification of lists of wards candidates contesting the elections was finalised and certified on June 27, Electoral Commissioner Glen Mashinini told the media at Centurion, near here.

As part of the verification of compliance process, 8,350 candidates were disqualified because of non-submission of documentation, non-payment of deposit and not being registered voters in the municipality in which they wanted to contest.

However, Mashinini noted that the final numbers of political parties and candidates was subject to minor amendments, because of two issues.

“The first relates to 73 payments which the Electoral Commission received on time but could not link to a party or candidate as the payment did not contain the correct deposit reference number,” he added.

“The second issue relates to any court challenge of disqualification by parties or candidates. The Electoral Commission is aware of at least one party which has approached the Electoral Court to overturn its disqualification for non-payment of deposit.”

There are a total of 4,649 unique ballot papers for the 2016 elections, including 4,392 ward ballot papers, 205 local council proportional representation ballot papers, eight metropolitan council proportional representation ballot papers and 44 district council ballot papers.

“Voters in metros will complete two ballot papers and voters in all other municipalities will complete three ballot papers. The Electoral Commission plans to print approximately 80 million copies of ballot papers to ensure sufficient ballots for all voters,” Mashinini explained.

Approximately 60 per cent of the candidates contesting the elections are male and 40 per cent are female. However, Mashinini noted that the gender parity is more closely achieved in proportional representation lists where the gender ration is 52 men to 48 women.

Limpopo Province has the highest number of women candidates (43 per cent), followed by Eastern Cape and Northern Cape provinces, both 42 per cent and Free State Province with 41 per cent.


Ithubalami: rehabilitation path to new beginnings

A documentary entitled Ithubalami: My rehabilitation path to new beginnings, which documents the offender rehabilitation programme, was launched on Wednesday evening.

The documentary, which was produced in partnership with the Department of Communications, Department of State Enterprises and stakeholders from the private sector, mainly focuses on youth in conflict with the law and further showcases the Department of Correctional Services’ offender rehabilitation programme.

Speaking at the launch, Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams called on communities to give the inmates a second chance.

“As government alone, we cannot make it, we need all the help we can get,” she said.

This was after the documentary was played to the guests who attended the launch.

Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams, who was wearing an outfit designed by inmates, appealed to communities to make use of services offered by the inmates.

Ithubalami further addresses social issues such as poverty, crime and unemployment amongst offender communities released on parole.

Additionally, the documentary examines the interventions put in place to increase the chances of employment and reintegration of released offenders.

SABC Chief Operations Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng told the quests that he was impressed with the documentary.

He gave the documentary his full support, saying the public broadcaster will give its full support to the documentary including financial support.

“South Africa has talent, we want that to be exposed. We as the SABC, it is our duty that you succeed,” he said.

One of the cast members, Andires Maphosa, who was sentenced to 16 years for armed robbery, told the audiences that he is now a new man.

“I committed a crime, I got arrested and now found my purpose while in prison,” he said.

Maphosa encouraged those still in prison to not lose hope and to take the courses in prison seriously as they will depend on these skills upon their release.

“There is a second chance in life, don’t lose hope,” he said.

Another cast member, Tshepo Seakamela, still serving his sentence, was arrested when he was 19 and now he is 36, told the audience that he used his time in prison studying.

To date, he has completed a Diploma in Theology, Certificate in Business Management and he is currently a Communications student.

“The biggest crime that one can commit is reoffending,” he said.

Seakamela thanked the Correctional Services’ officials who have been supportive in ensuring that he succeeds.

The documentary also reflects the South African correctional system that has been transformed from prisons to corrections, where human rights and dignity are recognised and valued.

Through in-depth discussions with various role players, Ithubalami brings to the fore the thrust of offender rehabilitation and showcases correctional centres as places of new beginnings where education and skills development are the cornerstone of Corrections.

Source: Government Communication and information System