_Update by Leader of Government Business / MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube_
*Pietermaritzburg - Vezokuhle Primary School in Caluza*: We wish to apologize on behalf of the Premier Sihle Zikalala who could not make it due to other commitments. He was looking forward to this event.
Today marks the beginning of the digital revolution.
We express our appreciation to the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies; Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams who has joined us.
We are launching JL Dube Broadband. We all know that JL Dube was a leader of society who was passionate about the total development of the people of this country.
He was the first President of the governing party – the African National Congress.
Dr Dube established Ohlange Institute, where the First President of a democratic Republic of South Africa Nelson Mandela voted for the first time in 1994.
In establishing Ohlange Institute, JL Dube modelled it on the Tuskegee Institute founded by Booker T Washington.
The institute was established to “train the mind, the heart and the hand.”
The school emphasized intellectual development, skills development, the ethos of Ubuntu and the creation of a fully developed individual.
Since the President of the Republic of South Africa His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown, we have seen the use of the digital infrastructure.
Unfortunately, many communities and the youth in particular have been left out due to high data costs.
This has highlighted the need for us to move with speed to bridge the digital divide through the rollout of JL Dube Broadband.
Today involves the connection of 6 hotspots but our target is to ensure that 20 500 hotpots throughout KwaZulu-Natal. We want every member of the community to have access to tbe internet.
The hotspots we are connecting today includes:-
●Vezokuhle Primary School and surrounding communities:
●Edendale Gateway Clinic;
●Umsunduzi Taxi Rank and Langalibalele Street and other areas.
There are few municipalities that stand to benefit during the initial phase of the roll-out. These includes – firstly Umsunduzi, Umgungundlovu, Amajuba, Umhlathuze, King Cetshwayo, eThekwini, uThukela and Kokstad.
Other municipalities will follow as we cover the whole province.
The socio-economic benefits of Free Wi-Fi Hotpots and JL Dube Broadband include:-
●2 million jobs created over 5 years;
●2000 self-sustainable SMME’s created over 5 years;
●80% of the population with access to affordable internet over 5 years;
●12% ICT Sector GDP growth in the Province over 5 years;
●Locally manufactured technologies exported throughout the globe;
●Fast and efficient government services made possible through e-Governance;
●Highly skilled and capable human capital in the 4IR skills.
Members of the Media and the public at large can join the activities as we are streaming:
*ISSUED BY THE MEC FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND LEADER OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS- NOMUSA DUBE-NCUBE*
Ndabezinhle Sibiya – 082 375 4742
Nathi Olifant - 060 970 5113