Hyper-local content is essential to digital uptake and Smart Township building

Cape Digital Foundation believes that South Africa’s burgeoning townships are our Smart Cities of the future. This belief has shaped the Foundation’s mission to mobilise the provision of reliable, affordable digital infrastructure, along with the digital skills and know-how that will enable township citizens to become Smart Citizens living in Smart Townships – starting in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay.

There are five foundational pillars of Smart Townships, namely Digital Infrastructure, Affordable Connectivity, Digital Skills, Local Content and Data Collection. From among them, providing relevant hyper-local content is seen by CDF as being an important incentive for members of a community to get online, while acting as a powerful agent for social cohesion. Citizens find their voice through being contributors to hyper-local content and are able to speak to what is happening in their community; and are enabled to develop discerning in terms of what is real or fake news.

Sustainability is the key

In their 2015 global information report titled “Understanding Digital Content and Services Ecosystems: The Role of Content and Services in Boosting Internet Adoption” World Economic Forum states: Ensuring a sustainable supply of local, relevant digital content creates incentives and reasons for subscribers to get online; such content is an imperative for driving Internet adoption for the 60 percent of the [African] population not currently connected.”

Read CDF’s article on how IYtv passes CDF’s Entertainment For You, By You “eFUBU” test – with local community involvement being the main driver of IYtv’s sustainability.

CDF launches IYtv as a multifunctional news and business portal

In February, CDF launched the new-look hyper-local news portal, IYtv – now with a crew of five, all of them from IY – along with the IYtv studio where citizen journalists, Owen and Denzil, are busy experimenting with creating formatted shows once a week as well as providing daily news from around IY. IYtv remains zero-rated for TooMuchWifi data users in Imizamo Yethu.

CDF believes that enabling Smart Citizens to innovate, and solve real-world problems through technology will allow their contribution to South Africa’s digital economy – not to mention boosting Smart Townships’ circular economies. To this end IYtv is gaining in momentum as a multifaceted online resource that will stimulate digital uptake among Imizamo Yethu residents. Not only can locals catch up on the latest IY news, the IYtv portal also has a local business directory where local business owners can list their businesses, for free. There is a Learner section that will host a growing number of educational workbooks for learners from grade 4 through to 9 – particularly in the areas of maths, and science and technology.

Leading the charge into 2019

The Foundation will continue to upscale its hyper-local content initiative in IY, working alongside our connectivity partner, TooMuchWifi, as they roll out infrastructure and provide affordable data to local residents. We look forward to bringing you news of further exciting developments – and of the Foundation’s digital training initiatives in IY that are going full-steam ahead.

2019 is going to be a year of extra-ordinary progress in the building of Smart Townships. We invite you to consider becoming one of Cape Digital Foundation’s funding partners. In doing so you will be:

  • building Smart Townships that enable South Africans to participate in the South African digital economy;
  • nurturing local small enterprise creation and the growth of township economies; and
  • skilling the next generation of leaders and innovators to keep South Africa in step with The Fourth Industrial Revolution.

To become a CDF funding partner get in touch with Executive Director, Emma Kaye at emma.kaye@digitalfoundation.org.za or call her on +27 (0)21 409 7000.


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