Gauteng premier promises free WiFi

New Gauteng premier David Makhura says he is working with the private sector for a “massive” rollout of broadband and free Wi-Fi across the province.

Makhura was delivering his state of the province address on Friday (27 June), and follows recent similar rhetoric delivered by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, who said in her state of the province address on 20 June, that every citizen in the province will have the opportunity to access “limited free” Internet at Wi-Fi hotspots over the next four years.

“The provincial government and municipalities are working together with the private sector in the massive rollout of broadband and free Wi-Fi across the province as a backbone of the new economy,”Makhura said.

“Gauteng should be able to realise 100% internet connectivity in the next five years,” he added.

Earlier this month, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), launched a business initiative to provide taxi commuters with 50MB worth of free Wi-Fi per month on 3G and LTE (4G) platforms.

Small business in Gauteng

In May, as part of an extended Cabinet, President Jacob Zuma announced the formation of new ministry to foster the development of small business development, under the lead of Lindiwe Zulu.

According to Makhura, Gauteng will look different over the next five to fifteen years.

He said that government’s infrastructure investment plans has a “potential to create more than 300,000 jobs and boost the development of new SMMEs and township enterprises that are owned and managed by black people, women and youth”.

He said that over the next six months, additional details will be outlined in this regard.

“We shall work with all municipalities to ensure that government procurement policies facilitate the formation of co-operatives and SMMEs by young people, women and including people with disability who have demonstrable commitment to succeed in the world of entrepreneurship,” the Gauteng lead said.

He pointed to the launch of of Incubation Centres and Township Hubs offering technical support, funding and off- take agreements and access to markets, “in order to realise our goal of building a new social sector of the economy that is driven by SMMEs, township enterprises and community co-operatives”.

“The systematic incubation and support of youth and women enterprises, township enterprises and SMMEs is going to be one of the key elements of radical economic transformation,” he said.

Makhura said that the first SMME Incubation Hub in Diepsloot would be launched within the next 100 days.

More on WiFi in SA

Zille targets free WiFi for all in the Western Cape

Cape Town to spend R216 million on broadband

MWEB launches free WiFi in Durban

Santaco’s free taxi WiFi bonanza unveiled

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Gauteng premier promises free WiFi