Cape Digital Foundation believes that South Africa’s Smart Townships of the future are vital in that they will serve as economic hubs, supporting the growth of the country’s digital economy in unique and innovative ways. Smart Townships will play an important role in South Africa keeping pace with the world as it is made over by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
2018: A year well spent toward growing Smart Townships in Cape Town
From early in 2018, CDF focused on putting a proof of concept through its paces that would provide a launch pad to the development, and then scaling up, of Smart Township growth initiatives in the greater Cape Town area. CDF chose Imizamo Yethu (IY) in Hout Bay to be its Smart Township proof of concept, especially because this township’s well-delineated boundaries make accurate data collection and reporting possible.
To start the ball rolling, CDF identified five fundamental pillars – found to be essential to the development of Smart Townships – namely digital infrastructure, affordable connectivity, digital skills, local content and data collection. Click here to read our December 2018 newsletter and learn more about the success of CDF’s 2018 proof of concept initiative in review.
Looking back, figures released by CDF’s connectivity partner in IY, TooMuchWifi, revealed that the equivalent of R17.8 million in data-spend had been saved over the year through access to affordable, reliable Wifi within this township. This represents:
- household income that was freed up to be spent on other necessities,
- the employment and training of installers and customer support staff from within IY,
- micro business owners and entrepreneurs who were enabled to create income and spend it within the township economy.
All this has played an important role in boosting Imizamo Yethu’s circular township economy.
2019: A brief overview of exciting plans and developments in the year to come
CDF is poised to scale Smart Township initiatives in Imizamo Yethu, as well as to replicate these initiatives within other townships in the Western Cape. Here is a sneak preview of what we have planned:
- Continuing to scale affordable connectivity throughout Imizamo Yethu with our partners TooMuchWifi, leading to increasing community savings and the development of IY’s circular township economy.
- The launch of a much-expanded IYtv website – IY’s hyper local news portal – which will include:
- A specific learning section where residents can get information and education which includes Maths and Science learning portals through partners such as Siyavula
- Children’s online illustrated books in local languages through partners such as Book Dash
- High quality animation specifically for Early Childhood Development Centres and home use, partnering with Triggerfish Animation
- A specific section for local SMME’s, where businesses will be able to register on IYtv for free – creating a powerful hyper-local business directory. IYtv will provide a short video of each business in which they describe what they offer to the IY community and a pinned location at which people can find them.
- Continuing to scale our mobile training courses to improve digital skills and literacy with partners University of the Western Cape’s WesternCapeColab for eInclusion and Social Development.
Join us in growing Smart Townships in the Western Cape
2019 is going to be a year of extra-ordinary progress in the building of Smart Townships as we not only scale Smart-Township-building initiatives in Imizamo Yethu, but also mobilise the replication of these proven initiatives in other townships around Cape Town.
But, we cannot achieve what we have planned without funding. We invite you to consider becoming one of Cape Digital Foundation’s funding partners. In doing so you will be:
- providing the wherewithal for township residents to improve their quality of life as economically productive and self-sustained citizens;
- nurturing local small enterprise creation and the growth of township economies; and
- skilling the next generation of leaders and innovators who will take Smart Townships into the future.
To become a CDF funding partner get in touch with Executive Director, Emma Kaye at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on +27 (0)21 409 7000.