CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Today, U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Leocadia I. Zak led a delegation of U.S. and Cape Town officials on a tour of Lentegeur Library, where a new Wi-Fi hotspot will provide internet access to residents in the township of Mitchell’s Plain. The Library is among 69 facilities at which the City has installed Wi-Fi hotspots as part of its digital inclusion strategy, which was developed with USTDA support.
“I am delighted to be back in Cape Town to see how the partnership we established three years ago is helping the City realize its internet connectivity goals,” said Director Zak. “Digital inclusion will support the provision of education, healthcare and other critical services. It will also promote business development and overall economic growth.”
“The City of Cape Town’s digital inclusion project, which forms part of our vision of becoming the leading digital city in Africa, would not have been possible without the financial assistance provided by USTDA,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Councillor Xanthea Limberg. “This public Wi-Fi provision is a prime example of how the private sector, government and the public can make progress possible, together.”
In 2012, USTDA and the City of Cape Town signed a grant agreement for a feasibility study that provided critical guidance for the expansion of municipal internet services to underserved areas. The study, which was carried out by U.S. firm Decision/Analysis Partners (Fairfax, Va.), developed a digital inclusion project model that is now in the process of being implemented.
The City of Cape Town plans to install a total of 130 Wi-Fi hotspots in and around public buildings where community members congregate for services. To date, more than 13,600 clients have registered to utilize the Wi-Fi and more than 3.2 terabytes of data were downloaded in January 2015 alone.