MEC Alan Winde gives update on Western Cape Wi-Fi project

Hundreds of new users connect to Western Cape Wi-Fi each day

The Western Cape’s public Wi-Fi network is adding 250 new users a day as the service continues to expand.

Alan Winde, MEC of Economic Opportunities, today (7 February 2017) provided an update on the Western Cape Government and Neotel’s public access Wi-Fi project.

The project which was launched in March last year, aims to bridge the connectivity divide. Said Winde: The Western Cape Government is working hard to bridge the gap to information and opportunities experienced by its poorest citizens. We believe that the internet is a powerful tool in opening economic opportunities to all, and are striving to ensure that all residents have access close to home.

The project aims to activate a hotspot in every ward across the province by 2018, and is driven by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism

After the 2016 Municipal Elections the number of wards increased from 384 to 402. The project has responded to these changes.

MEC Winde lauded the high rate of new connections per day, describing it as excellent news.

Over 70,000 devices have connected to the Wi-Fi hotspots since March last year. In total, more than 12TB of free and paid data has been utilised on the network since launch.

To make sure residents get the most out of this initiative, we’ve also offered a digital literacy course. We have embedded Internet Champions in communities to assist with the roll out of this course, with 250,000 residents completing it to date. We’re on an all-out drive to ensure that the benefits of the digital age are extended to all the citizens of the Cape.

The public access Wi-Fi hotspot is part of the Western Cape Government’s Broadband Initiative.

Data from the project shows that residents are accessing educational, employment, transactional and government information.

Through the Neohotspots, residents receive 250MB of free data per month. In addition, the digital literacy course and all Government websites, including career opportunity portals, are available megabyte-free. Users can purchase additional Neotel data vouchers at R5 for one day (700MB), R15 for one week (2GB), and R45 for one month (5GB). These are amongst the cheapest rates for data in South Africa.

By the end of phase 1 in March this year, 150 hotspot sites will be connected. Linked to this, MEC Winde will be providing a full update on the project. The final phase will be delivered by March 2018.

Source: Government of South Africa