Historically Disadvantaged Communities to Receive Free Internet Access
Free internet will be rolled out in some of the Western Cape’s most historically disadvantaged communities in the next two months, as part of a R3 million broadband pilot project.
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) will this weekend open the call for proposals for the Free WIFI project. This forms part of the Western Cape Broadband Initiative.
Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, said three communities would be selected in the pilot phase of the Free WIFI project.
This initiative will be run by DEDAT, through grant funding to non-profit organisations (NPOs).
DEDAT will install the infrastructure, while the project will be managed by the organisations.
Three WIFI zones will be selected in the pilot phase, with each zone receiving R1 million.
Minister Winde explained that the project marked the start of rolling out affordable internet access across the province.
“The Free WIFI project will assist us in developing the most effective way of delivering internet access to residents. The aim of this pilot is to pioneer a model we can replicate across the province. We are taking services to the areas that need them most. It’s these targeted interventions that make a real difference in people’s lives.”
Minister Winde added that there was a direct connection between economic growth and internet connections.
“The World Bank estimates that every 10% increase in high-speed Internet connections in developing countries results in a 1.3% increase in economic growth. Access to internet is a key tool in job creation.”
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism will advertise the call for proposals, which will detail the application process, in several weekend newspapers.
“We will announce the successful NPOs in January next year and will start implementation immediately,” said Minister Winde.
Applications must be submitted on the prescribed form, accompanied by the required supporting documentation. The terms of reference and selection criteria can be collected from Audrey Groepies, ninth floor, NBS Waldorf Arcade, 80 St George's Mall, Cape Town or requested via email on firstname.lastname@example.org..
The closing date for all proposals is at 12pm on 6 December 2013.