Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele says South Africa has already made strides in the implementation of a broadband policy: South Africa Connect.
Speaking at the ITU gathering underway in Durban, he emphasised the private sector’s contribution to ensure that the vast majority of South Africans are involved in activities of the internet.
The pilot project which has started in eight districts from around the country has already started to benefit a number of citizens. However, Cwele notes that although the funding of these projects has been made possible through the fiscus, Public Private Partnerships (PPP) are important in ensuring that the vast majority of the public can benefit from such initiatives.
The aim of these projects is to connect as many people as possible. And to ensure that this has been done, government is using various departments to ensure sufficient rollout of infrastructure. The idea of using government departments stems on the bases of seeking to creating demand from communities to look towards ICT.
Public private partnerships are critical in ensuring that financing for Digital development is possible. Cwele says that because of the fiscus constraints, government are key on establishing partnerships.
“Because of the fiscus constraints we are now following a PPP model. We estimated that we need about R80 billion to roll out this infrastructure. As a government we are looking at this feasibility with national treasury and the development bank of Southern Africa. So that by the need of this year we can come up with a proposal to the private sector,” says Cwele.”