Govt aims to connect 5 mln households to internet in three years

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Deputy President Paul Mashatile says government intends to provide internet connection to more than five-million households in the next three years. He was speaking at an event to connect households in Modimolle, Limpopo, to the internet. The project is aimed at providing internet access to communities countrywide.

The second phase of the connect project has an expanded scope to connect more communities. Mashatile says by the end of this financial year, 700 000 households nationwide would be connected.

“End of this financial year, we would have reached up more than 700 000 and the next three years more than 5 million. The important thing is to connect people not only in the towns and townships but also to go deep into rural areas so that we close the gap in terms of digital connectivity.”

More than 500 households have so far received internet connectivity through the connect project in Modimolle. They pay R250 monthly for unlimited internet access. Residents have expressed excitement about the initiative.

“It assists me very much because I can connect each and every one in my family and my neighbours. I can look for a job, better opportunities better things outside to do. Even my family can be connected and do research, children can learn online,” says one of the residents.

Local businesses in Modimole say having internet connections will assist them in expanding their businesses. One of the business owners is Mogakala Rakgoale.

“It has helped me so much, I save the money a lot. I feel so happy.”

Minister of Communication and Digital Technologies Mondli Gungubele says government will release more funds to roll out internet connectivity countrywide. He says over R2 billion has been set aside for the connectivity project.

“R2.2 billion but because of fiscal challenges, it needed to be revised, but all we are saying is that the power of this project on its own is going to unleash funds. We are already speaking to other independent agencies because it makes business sense to make sure that all South Africans are connected.”

The project is aimed at reaching out to over 52 districts in the country. So far the project has been rolled out in eleven districts.