The City of Tshwane metropolitan municipality (Tshwane) announced the roll-out plan of its free Wi-Fi project at a media briefing in Centurion today (15 August 2013).
Executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa announced in a statement that the roll-out will be done in partnership with Project Isizwe, a non-profit movement that aims to provide free Wi-Fi Internet to Africa.
Tshwane recently approved an information and communications technology (ICT) strategy, which Ramokgopa said was informed by its broad 2055 vision to regenerate the metropole as a “Smart City” and an African Capital City of Excellence.
“The ICT strategy outlines key success factors and interventions required to improve City performance and maximise the usage of ICT,” Ramokgopa said.
Providing free Wi-Fi as a social intervention was also mentioned in the 2013 State of the City address, Ramokgopa said. Other projects announced in the address include broadband expansion and ICT skills development.
According to Tshwane the intention is to provide free Wi-Fi access to poorer communities, highly densified urban areas, and educational institutions in the City.
The first phase of the roll-out is set to be finished by the end of November 2013 in 5 locations: TUT Soshanguve Campus, University of Pretoria Hatfield Campus, Tshwane North College, Mamelodi Community Centre, and Church Square in the Pretoria CBD.
Phase 2 will commence in 2014 and will be focused on schools within Soshanguve, Mamelodi, and Atteridgeville, providing free Internet Wi-Fi zones to 213 schools within these areas, Tshwane said.
Tshwane said that the long-term plan is to provide free Wi-Fi to all government educational institutions in the City of Tshwane by 2016.
It will also broaden partnerships in the areas of developing graduate skills in ICT, educating local municipalities to use and manage technologies, and to build applications for government utilization.