Project Isizwe and the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism have outlined plans to provide free Wi-Fi to open public spaces in key hubs in the Western Cape Province.
Project Isizwe is a non-profit organisation with the stated goal of bringing free Internet to Africa. It claims to be the first Provincial free Wi-Fi project in South Africa, and forms part of the Western Cape’s R1.3 billion plan to connect all residents to broadband.
Alan Knott-Craig Jr, former head of Mxit and World of Avatar (and before that iBurst), is the founder of the initiative.
“Through this pilot 90,000 people in four spaces in the Western Cape are going to be connected to the internet,” said Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde.
“The top NPO’s were selected based on the strength of their proposals and which models would reach the most residents. The aim of this project is to see which models work best, so we can replicate this across the Western Cape.”
“Eventually, every resident must have access to free or affordable internet,” he said.
Project Isizwe, which delivered free Wi-Fi to five sites in Tshwane in November last year, with a major expansion in the works, was chosen as one of three non-profit organisations to deliver free Wi-Fi zones in the identified areas.
The organisation will rollout Free Internet Zones (FIZ) in Atlantis and Robertson at sites strategically chosen due to the high concentration of learners, with emphasis on low-
income schools in these areas.
“The internet is a primary tool of empowerment; it helps people find jobs, learn and become socially included” said Knott-Craig.