As mentioned in our last newsletter, the data is in. CDF’s Smart Township initiative and proof of concept in Imizamo Yethu, or IY, is showing successful results.
Imizamo Yethu’s journey towards being a Smart Township
CDF believes that digitally savvy, Smart Townships are South Africa’s economic hubs of the future. Since the beginning of the year Cape Digital Foundation has been busy, alongside several partners, actively embedding the five core pillars necessary to bring about the ongoing metamorphosis of Imizamo Yethu into being a Smart Township. The five pillars are:
- Digital infrastructure
- Affordable connectivity
- Digital skills
- Local content
- Data collection
TooMuchWifi’s analytics reveal that R17,8 million in citizen data-spend has been saved over a twelve month period in IY. Practically speaking this means that residents who previously could not afford access to Wifi infrastructure or data, have been able to install Wifi and purchase data from vendors inside the township, effectively ploughing the money back into the township economy. It means that a good proportion of the household income that these residents historically spent buying data is now freed up to spend on other necessities. And last, but not least, it has meant that new-found connectivity and digital skills have been put to good use by small business owners in IY to better administer and grow their businesses.
The Foundation is poised to scale Smart Township initiatives – but we need funding to do so
So far, CDF has partnered with several extra-ordinary organisations and individuals who have been generous with their expertise and resources in seeing our Smart Township proof of concept see the light of day and flourish. But we need funding in order to scale and then replicate the success we are seeing in Imizamo Yethu. Taking IY to the next level in their journey to being a Smart Township will require providing a growing number of small business owners and unemployed young people in the township with digital skills training – as well as growing the operational resources of IYtv and marketing this hyper local news portal within IY. CDF is also looking to introduce other ‘smart’ technologies into Smart Township communities – particularly technology that will allow for better health care, improved public safety and security, and facilitate job searches. The same applies to replicating this Smart Township initiative within other townships in the Western Cape.
Join us in growing Smart Townships in the Western Cape
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; you will be nurturing local small enterprise creation and the growth of township economies; and you will be 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.