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The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape welcomes a commitment by the Department of the Premier to launch 321 public Wi-Fi Hotspots in the province over the next financial year.

In a reply to a Parliamentary Question in the Provincial Legislature, Premier Winde confirmed that 103 hotpots had already been installed at schools across the province over the 2017/18 financial year, as part of a project which was launched in 2016 with the aim of providing universal internet access.

MPP Ricardo Mackenzie says: “I am excited on behalf of the 244 schools across the City of Cape Town Metro and 77 schools in the Overberg, West Coast, Cape Winelands, as well as Eden and Central Karoo areas who will soon have access to the internet at free public WiFi zones which helps decrease the digital divide in our province. The roll-out will specifically prioritise disadvantaged areas such as Guguletu, Nyanga, Bishop Lavis & Philippi”.

Internet access in our country remains a major challenge and the General Household Survey of 2017 revealed that only 1 out of 10 households have access to the internet.

MPP Ricardo Mackenzie adds: “Feedback from schools who currently have free public Wi-Fi hotpots indicate that both teachers and learners benefit to complete projects and tasks, especially outside school hours.”

Departmental surveys in the past have shown that increased access to the internet enables schools and surrounding communities to have better access to job opportunities which the youth across the province desperately need.

“The Western Cape Government can use hotspots to their advantage by disseminating government information and services and explore the potential for e-services”, MPP Mackenzie added.

The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape encourages residents to use Wi-Fi hotspots optimally and to utilise technology towards personal development in order to seize opportunities at their disposal.

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