World Design Capital (WDC) project iKhaya le Langa is opening a space where the local community can use a library of devices – supported by Microsoft – which will empower and uplift the community of Langa, leaving a lasting legacy. Using a range of the company’s mobile devices and tablets, Microsoft will enable residents to access the Internet and connect to a number of new opportunities.
According to both parties involved, the precinct already features free Wi-Fi infrastructure, thanks to Connected Spaces through the Cape Town Partnership, and a coffee shop where the devices will be used and stored. Here they will be able to access business resources, educational support and programs, apply for jobs and more.
Residents will be taught how to use Microsoft devices, and the array of Microsoft software and services like Skype for video calls, Bing for search and OneDrive, the Microsoft cloud storage solution. This is in addition to the suite of leading Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. With iKhaya le Langa founder Tony Elvin’s vision to have each and every household within the precinct running some kind of small business, visitors will also be given courses on small business management.
According to Justin Maier, head of marketing for South East Africa at Microsoft Mobile Devices: “Instead of merely donating money or devices, we wanted to create a meaningful initiative that will have benefits for the local residents. With Wi-Fi hotspots available in township – but no means to fully make use of them – we saw this as the perfect opportunity to serve as an enabler for this community to be digitally empowered.”
Tony Elvin, a Social Enterprise Entrepreneur, says “We believe that through facilitating, enabling and encouraging a series of inter connected initiatives with the public, private, voluntary sectors and residents, the vicious cycle of poverty and social exclusion can be broken and replaced with a thriving, sustainable, cohesive community.”