ANC promises SA free Wi-Fi

President Jacob Zuma has promised free Wi-Fi to South Africans as part of its election pledges.

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The ANC has promised free Wi-Fi as part its 2014 election manifesto, unveiled on Saturday in Mbombela in Mpumalanga.

“Government will support and develop free Wi-Fi areas in cities, towns and rural areas,” the manifesto says. It does not provide further detail on the nature of government’s plans in this regard.

In its five-year plan, the ANC promises “rapidly” to expand access to and the use of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure.

The manifesto says it will invest in a comprehensive plan to expand broadband access throughout the country and “substantially reduce the cost of communication”.

It also promises broadband access by 2020 to all schools, public health and other government facilities with “at least 90%” of the community having access to “substantial and superfast” broadband capacity by 2020.

The manifesto mentions the first phase of the construction of the Square Kilometre Array project will begin in 2016, which will lead to the investment in hi-tech engineering and infrastructure.

The ANC promises it will expand funding support for research and development as part of “growing our innovative base” and introduce steps to increase overall research and development spend to at least 1,5% of GDP.

Lastly, the party will support innovation programmes at schools, universities and industry, with emphasis on new ideas that address the “real problems of the economy and society”.  — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media

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