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Project Isizwe has today launched in Atlantis, in the latest phase of the free Wi-Fi for South Africa project. Later this week, the service will be rolled out in Robertson as well, implementing the Western Cape Government’s plan to connect all residents to the internet.
Residents of Atlantis, on the Western Cape’s West Coast, “will now have an opportunity to connect to the internet to access a range of opportunities including finding jobs, start and expanding business and completing school projects,” remarked Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille. Residents of Robertson, in the province’s southern interior, will also see the project’s fruits from 29 September.
Neotel, Westcon Southern Africa and Ruckus Wireless will provide the infrastructure, catering for an estimated 20 000 users in each area.
The Free Internet Zones will allow users who have mobile phones, tablets, laptops or any other Wi-Fi enabled devices to use the service for free. Although users are only allowed 250MB per day, the accompanying content portal dubbed Tobetsa will allow “unlimited browsing of government online service, as well as educational and job-searching resources such as Wikipedia, Siyavula and Gumtree,” notes the press release.
Four schools each in Atlantis and Robertson will be given internet access, covering close to 10 000 school children in the two towns.
Other Project Isizwe ventures around the country have proven fruitful, notably in Tswane where over 100 000 people have enjoyed the free internet since November 2013. The Western Cape Provincial government hopes to cover the entire province in the near future, which will cost around R1.3-billion in the coming years.