[14 July 2017] The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has published a concept document which provides an overview of the South Africa Internet for All programme. The initiative sees government partner with the World Economic Forum and their global Internet for All project, which aims to accelerate access to the 4 billion people globally who are not connected to the internet.
The programme aims to provide internet to millions of previously unconnected South Africans through new models of public-private partnership and will focus on barriers to universal internet access such as infrastructure, affordability, skills and awareness, and the development of local content.
The first phase of the project is a series of public awareness campaigns, with the objective of reaching and connecting currently unconnected areas. This will pilot in Soweto and similar events will follow in each province during the remainder of the year with a schedule of further events to be announced once the SA Connect roadmap has been finalised.
The second event will entail community sessions, involving government, the WEF and other local and international stakeholders with the goal of outlining working groups, setting up of the steering committee and other arrangements. The intended outcomes if this event are as follows:
- Kliptown Declaration on digital revolution
- Institutional arrangements
- Measurement tool
- Goal on connectivity
- Reporting timelines and synergy to Cabinet and the WEF.
South Africa plans to connect 22 million currently unconnected people to the internet by 2020.