Residents in Bloemfontein or the Nelson Mandela Bay will in future be able to enjoy free WiFi courtesy of their municipality and Project Isizwe.
Project Isizwe CEO, Alan Knott-Craig recently revealed that the organisation is in talks with the Free State’s Mangaung and Eastern Cape’s Mandela Bay municipalities to have the free WiFi network system currently place in the City of Tshwane replicated in one of the two metros.
“The race is between Mangaung and Nelson Mandela bay. I’m not sure who will win, it depends on how fast the decision is made by political leadership. First come first served,” Knot-Craig told htxt.africa. “We have no favourites.”
Knott-Craig said that although residents in the chosen metro will also get 250MB free WiFi and that Project Isizwe will replicate some of the services, such as WiFi TV, existing in Tshwane, it will take a while for any metro to catch up with Tshwane.
As to exactly how many sites will be erected and where they will be, Knott-Craig said it depends on the chosen city’s preferences, but that Project Isizwe urges any metro to take a page from Tshwane, which has sites set up in public areas such as schools, hospitals, bus stations and libraries, among others.
The project’s first expansion outside of Gauteng happened in June when it set up WiFi hotpsots in two rural Eastern Cape colleges in June.
Knott-Craig said KwaZulu-Natal and more municipalities in the Eastern Cape can in future expect to see free WiFi coming to their areas as well, as Project Isizwe is currently engaging with various district municipalities in the two coastal provinces.
Project Isizwe in the City of Tshwane is currently the country’s biggest public free WiFi project with the latest stats from the organisation revealing that it has over 165 000 active monthly users and has recorded 720 000 unique users since launching in 2013.