Google says that 40,000 sites have been set up using its Woza Online platform since inception in January 2012.
Using the platform, businesses are able to create their own websites and develop an online presence at no charge, for now.
Businesses participating in the initiative get:
- a free easy-to-build professional website;
- a free sub-domain name and hosting;
- an automatic listing on Google Places which reflects in Google Maps;
- access to training material and workshops;
- free online support available via Google Chat and e-mail;
- 1 year free top-level .co.za domain name for first 10,000 applicants.
Google has launched similar initiatives in 27 other countries around the world from Great Britain, Canada, and Australia to Brazil, Indonesia, France, and Poland, bringing 400,000 businesses online over two years.
In Africa, the programme was launched in Kenya and Nigeria last year.