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Limpopo Embraces Digital Connectivity with New Solar Community Hub

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Dell Technologies in partnership with Utelize Mobile, SITA South Africa, Computer Aid International, and Amandla Community Projects, has launched the Xitlhelani Village Solar Community Hub in Limpopo province, South Africa.

The Solar Community Hub in Xitlhelani Village, powered by solar energy and housed in refurbished shipping containers, connects community members to the digital world. It offers ICT skill-building for students and provides technology and internet access to the local community, featuring ten PCs and 30 Dell Rugged laptops.

Suren Naidoo, Managing Director of SITA South Africa, said: “This project is about more than providing access to technology; it’s about planting seeds of opportunity and aspiration in a community where these were previously scarce. This initiative aims to unlock potential and inspire a future where technology is a bridge to endless possibilities. Our collaboration with Dell Technologies and Utelize Mobile ensures that the solar hub is a beacon of hope and a catalyst for change within the community. We are not just educating individuals, we are uplifting communities and paving the way for a brighter, more connected future for all.”

Strategically located close to Mahuntsi Secondary School, it is the second hub to be installed in the province. The first was introduced in November 2022 to support 12,000 residents in the nearby Roerfontein and Mamaila villages. To date, Dell Technologies has deployed Solar Community Hubs in 48 locations worldwide, reaching more than 921,000 people in remote and underrepresented communities. There are currently 13 hubs in South Africa alone.

Digitizing the Region

In Limpopo, just 46.2% of residents have access to the Internet – the lowest rate in the country. This is compounded by South Africa’s exceptionally high unemployment rate, particularly for job seekers between 15 and 24 years old. This rate was measured at 60.7% in 2023, the highest yet recorded, as reported by Statista. Youth employment is a priority for many local organizations, and there are several local initiatives to accelerate youth employment.

To help broaden opportunities for the community, the facility will offer free access to technology resources and basic computer skills training for hundreds of students – including the opportunity to gain an ICDL certification by the end of their training year. Hub resources will allow students to learn how to create a résumé, complete university and scholarship applications, search for jobs, and seek career guidance.

Natasha Reuben, Head of Transformation at Dell Technologies South Africa, said: “Digital tools and skills are critical to accessing essential services and jobs. The Solar Community Hubs in the communities of Xithelani and Mamaila in Limpopo are a great example of how impactful simple solutions can be when built with the needs of the community at the center. We look forward to seeing the benefits that come from these Hubs and we will continue to bring the solution to remote or disconnected communities around the world as we advance toward digital equity.”

Keith Sonnet, Chief Executive of Computer Aid, said: “Our vision at Computer Aid is to build a world where everyone has access to digital technologies and the opportunities they provide. We rely on the support of generous partners like Dell Technologies and Utelize Mobile to enable us to improve the lives of communities across the world by providing them with the technology they need.”

 

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