In the face of COVID-19 and lockdown, the importance of internet access has been highlighted, and to that end Saldanha Bay has launched public WiFi hotspots.

The project was made possible with help from Facebook and Cell C and will allow residents to access the internet through Facebook’s Express WiFi platform.

Through ExpressWiFi, users can browse the internet, download and update apps and even stream movies. South Africa is one of seven African nations where ExpressWiFi is available.

As a further matter of interest, Saldanha Bay is the second municipality to make use of the ExpressWiFi platform – Cape Town was the first.

“One of the strategic objectives of Saldanha Bay Municipality is to be an innovative municipality on the cutting edge in respect of the use of technology and best practice,” executive mayor of Saldanha Bay, Alderman Marius Koen, said in a statement.

“With local government being the key to the tangible, on‐the‐ground service delivery strategy of the government, one of our nation’s most pressing challenges has become the need to strengthen local government and thereby further empower its citizens,” the executive mayor added.

Cell C says that it hopes to add another 300 access points in the municipality before the end of December 2020.

“We are currently rolling out to all the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges in the metro, and looking for new opportunities that are aligned to the Municipal Model,” said chief technical officer at Cell C, Schalk Visser.

“We are aiming at an additional 300 Access points in the Metro by the end of December 2020. Alongside that, we’re aiming at having another 100 access points or more with the Saldanha Bay Municipality in the first quarter next year as we expand to other towns in the same Municipality,” Visser added.

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