Project Isizwe is bringing free Wi-Fi to the City of Tshwane in South Africa – and people are using it
In August 2013 we were excited to hear news that the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality in northern Gauteng Province, South Africa was going to roll-out free Wi-Fi for the city. The intention is to provide internet access to poorer communities, highly densified urban areas, and educational places in the city. The initiative is a partnership between the municipality and Project Isizwe.
The ambitious project began just months ago and has exceeded expectations in many ways. Most impressively, there are currently over 1,200 unique users per day – up massively from 450 per day only a month ago. Total users and total sessions have more than doubled as well. Church Square in Pretoria has the most users per geographic area, but areas with universities are showing strong user numbers as well.
By the end of this year, over 200 schools in the city should have free Wi-Fi access. By 2016, all government institutions and schools in Tshwane should benefit from the free Wi-Fi project.
Of course, internet access isn’t enough to create long-term change. Project Isizwe will also help develop graduate skills in ICT, educate local communities on how to use these new technologies.
It’s worth noting other municipalities in South Africa are implementing similar projects. Stellensbosch, a town, has launched free Wi-Fi for its university and central business district. Cape Town has plans to roll-out free internet to many areas. But none matches the rapid growth of Isizwe.