Excerpt from Tshwane Mayor’s State of Capital speech

This is awesome for South Africa…

“Madam Speaker, we are a society of unequal opportunities on many fronts, often contributing to the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor. In the current digital economy, a lack of access to internet connectivity denies the poorest in our society the requisite opportunities to access basic knowledge to help them change their plight.

This excludes them from participating in the mainstream economy with disastrous consequences for the country. The City of Tshwane has therefore embarked on various initiatives to alter this undesirable situation.

Madam Speaker, our perspective is that access to connectivity must be viewed as a basic human right, analogous to the provision of basic services such as water and electricity. We have made tremendous progress in closing the digital divide and expanding internet connectivity.

Tshwane has made history by becoming the first metro to roll out free Wi-Fi and indeed our announcement of the provision of this service was made before the City of New York’s announcement – this is indeed a ground-breaking achievement for an African city.

In the next eighteen months, the City of Tshwane will expand the project and roll out about 600 additional Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Tshwane, prioritising institutions of learning. This unprecedented intervention will set up Tshwane as an e-capital of excellence and a driver of our country’s education aligned to the creation of a smart city.”