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Free Wi-Fi areas for South Africans – Zuma

January 13, 2014 • Mobile and Telecoms, Southern Africa, Top Stories

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma unveiled the African National Congress’s 2014 election manifesto in Nelspruit, South Africa over the weekend. During the event President Zuma announced that the ruling party would endeavour to provide the nation with better broadband connectivity and free Wi-Fi in designated areas.

ANC President announces his party' s intention to improve broadband connectivity. (Image Credit: World Economic Forum)

ANC President announces his party’s intention to improve broadband connectivity. (Image Credit: World Economic Forum)

On the topic of connectivity in South Africa, Zuma highlighted that the government would invest heavily in broadband. “We will invest in a comprehensive plan to expand broadband access throughout the country and substantially reduce the cost of communication,” he said.

Zuma added that the party would further expand the current national broadband network, and once again highlighted his government’s plan to have most of the nation fully connected to the internet by 2020.

“We aim to connect all schools, public health and other government facilities through broadband by 2020, and at least 90% of our communities should have substantial and superfast broadband capacity by 2020″.

As for free national Wi-Fi, Zuma said that emerging entrepreneurs would be roped in to make it reality.

“Government will support and develop free-WiFi areas in cities, towns and rural areas. The local electronics sector and emerging entrepreneurs will be stimulated as part of our efforts to support the manufacturing industry.”

In addition to enhancing broadband access, the ruling party as part of its manifesto manifesto has promised to focus on clean energy sources. “Both traditional and green energy will be expanded to ensure a platform for growth and social inclusion, including the use of nuclear power for energy generation in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner,” the document reads.

Solar, wind and water energy will also enjoy the government’s attention. “Solar and wind power will feed into the electricity grid to increase our generation capacity and promote environmental sustainability. Further hydro-electric energy will be secured domestically and regionally for the national grid.”

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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