Premier Zille Opens Paarl East Cape Access e-Centre
Today, Premier Helen Zille officially opened the Paarl East Cape Access e-Centre with Drakenstein Municipality Mayor Gesie Van Deventer at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Cape Access e-Centres are part of the Western Cape Government’s investments to bridge the digital divide by providing computer and internet facilities to benefit poor communities.
The e-Centres are usually based in libraries, Thusong Centres and schools. The e-Centre that was opened today in Paarl is the 34th facility established under the Cape Access programme, to the cost of R297 438.
Premier Zille previously linked the development of ICT infrastructure to increased economic competitiveness and growth as well as skills development during her 2013/14 Department of the Premier budget speech.
Speaking today at the e-Centre opening, she said the facilities that it made available were crucial for future success, especially for young people.
“The internet is the most important development since the printing press. It is a wealth of information at your fingertips, giving access to every newspaper and every library in the world. This Cape Access e-Centre and others like it are a wonderful opportunity for people to gain freedom they can truly use,” she said.
Premier Zille added, “The government has a crucial role in providing opportunities that can be ladders for people to climb to whatever heights their potential can take them to. The ladder is no good if people aren’t willing to put in the effort of climbing it themselves but also if someone is willing to climb, there must be a ladder available and accessible to climb. The Cape Access e-Centre is one example of such a ladder. Think of it as an opportunity centre.”
The rollout of Cape Access e-Centres is linked to the implementation of the provincial broadband strategy that aims to ensure greater access to information and promote a vibrant knowledge economy in the Western Cape.