SABC News - Government launches Internet for All initiative :Friday 5 May 2017

Government launches Internet for All initiative

Friday 5 May 2017 17:47

Amina Accram

Telecommunications and Postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele says the initiative is still in its infancy stage.

Telecommunications and Postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele says the initiative is still in its infancy stage.(SABC)

Government has launched the Internet for all initiative that is expected to connect 22 million South African’s online by the year 2020.

The initiative is a partnership between government, business and civil society. The cost of the project is estimated at $64 per person.

In 2015 the World Economic Forum launched the internet for All initiative to accelerate internet connectivity to the worlds 4 billion unconnected people, South Africa launched its initiative this week at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban.  

Telecommunications and Postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele says the initiative is still in its infancy stage but if achievable will provide internet access for many poor people.

“As a country we are very excited about this project and we think it will help us to meet our national development goals by reaching everyone by 2020 and we just have two and a half years to reach this target and it is achievable if we work together to spread infrastructure where it’s not existing at the moment.”

Alex Wong is Head of global challenging partnerships at the World Economic Forum. “I should mention that our role here in supporting government and the minister is to build on the national development plan and then South Africa can act so these are the underpinning plans that we will help accelerate because only through private public partnerships can we achieve these objectives.”

Janet Longmore who is Chief Executive of Digital Opportunity trust says, “Women in marginalised communities, poor people why are they not connected and what we have learnt is unless digital skills are immersed in a local content people are not going to pick up because it’s a high value preposition for them.”

Government is currently exploring various options to bring the cost of data down.

It will release a report on competition and the cost of data in the country’s ICT sector by mid year.

Internet for All has already been launched in various countries on the continent.

The Northern corridor initiative will bring 25 million new users online by 2019.

The intervention will include the expansion of 3G and 4G coverage.  

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