Free internet for South African communities - CNBC Africa

Free internet for South African communities

Southern Africa

by Thando Matutu 0

Laptop screen with beams of light PHOTO: Getty Images

Project Isizwe is a South African non-profit organisation (NGO) seeking to make Wi-Fi accessible to African communities.

“Most people can’t afford the Wi-Fi, the government is looking to make it [Internet connection] a basic need like water and electricity,” Alan Knott-Craig Jnr founder and chief executive officer of Project Isizwe told CNBC Africa.

The City of Tshwane municipality in partnership with Project Isizwe embarked on roll-out plan of free internet connectivity across Tshwane by identifying four FIZ areas.

The initial areas chosen as FIZ in November 2013, where University of Pretoria’s Hatfield Campus, Tshwane North College, Campus Mamelodi Community Centre and the University of Technology in Soshanguve.


“Half million people in the City of Tshwane are connected to Wi-Fi .This time next year three million people will be connected in Tshwane,” he said.

The success of the project amazed Knott-Craig to the potential of innovation when working coherently with municipal infrastructure.

(READ MORE:Wi-Fi the practical route for Project Isizwe)

“We are engaging with the city of Johannesburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal Provincial Government and our focus is on the next project, a tender offered for free Wi-Fi in Atlantis and Robertson in the Western Cape,” said Knott-Craig.

The NGO has partnered with the government Department of Economic Development and Tourism in Western Cape, South Africa. Atlantis and Robertson where chosen to establish FIZ areas which are of high concentration in terms learners and low income schools.

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The current model allows 250 megabytes for each person a day and uncapped access to online education sites. Alan Knott-Craig believes that access to information is the key to a better future for South Africa and is grateful to those who contribute to accessibility of information, education and jobs online.