More Africa NewsSouth Africa: the government approves the second phase of the SA Connect project, broadband for all

February 3, 2022by myles0

Following the pandemic that has shaken the world since 2020, digital transformation has accelerated. In South Africa, the government is investing in better access for populations to the Internet, aware of its crucial role in the new economy.

South Africa Connect (SA Connect), the national broadband policy, will enter its second phase. The Cabinet of President Cyril Ramaphosa (pictured) approved its implementation during the Cabinet Council held on Friday January 28.

In a statement, the government said that the second phase of the SA Connect project will be implemented by public entities, including the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), Broadband Infraco, Sentech, as well as private companies. It aims to provide 80% of public administrations, communities and homes with broadband access over the next three years. The speed will fluctuate between 10 megabits per second (Mbps) and 100 Mbps depending on the real need expressed.

The SA Connect project was launched in 2013 as part of the country’s broadband policy. Its initial objective was to provide every South African with access to a broadband connection at a cost of less than or equal to 2.5% of the average monthly income. Phase 1 of the project, which served as an experimental module, focused on providing 10 Mbps Internet connectivity to nearly 970 essential public administrations.

The government planned to connect 6,135 public services to high-speed Internet. This figure includes schools, health facilities, post offices, police stations and administrative offices. But budgetary constraints forced the State to reduce this number.

Since 2020, the demand for population connectivity has been increasing in South Africa. The government, which has made digital an asset of its post-Covid economic recovery, is counting on the second phase of the SA Connect project to “  reduce the digital divide, particularly in rural communities, and advance the digital economy ”. 

Source: Agence Ecofin

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