Government Speeds Up Internet Connectivity Program– Mega Artists Media

Government Speeds Up Internet Connectivity Program

Photo : Mondli Gungubele, Minister of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies.

Government intends to connect 1.5 million households in rural and township areas by the end of the year to the internet, enabled by Wi-Fi hotspots.

Addressing a media briefing in Pretoria, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele, said government plans to connect 5.5 million households in rural and township areas to Wi-Fi hotspots in the next three to four years.

“We are dedicated to bridging the digital divide by providing Wi-Fi access to communities and ensuring universal access to the internet. This year, we have connected over 740 000 households to the internet, enabled by the installation of 4 250 Wi-Fi hotspots.

“This work involved the participation of 76 Internet Service Providers, which are Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), and resulted in 4 500 direct jobs, and many more indirect jobs and opportunities downstream,” Gungubele said on Thursday.

He said government has made strides in reducing the cost of data.

“Simply put, where our flagship programme, SA Connect, visits, villages are left connected to the internet at an incredibly affordable rate of R5 a day per 1 Gig, and as little as R250 a month on an unlimited package.

“Beyond this infrastructure investment in communities at large, we have also focused our attention on enabling learners in rural schools to be connected to the internet and are equipped with skills to ready them for the future through State Information Technology Agency (SITA) Cyber Labs – a privilege previously reserved for urban schools.

“We have so far launched these smart schools in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, the North West and Northern Cape provinces, with more yet to be established in other parts of the country. In addition to the computer laboratory and equipment that comes with it, learners receive skills training in robotics, coding and digital skills,” Gungubele said.

In preparing young people for digital transformation and the digital economy, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies recently launched the national Digital Skills Forum (DSF), which brings together the necessary expertise, financial resources and institutional support as well as to track the performance of the National Digital Skills Programme.

The forum will also provide guidance and oversight on implementation of the National Digital Skills Programme.

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