Joburg to get 1 000 wi-fi hotspots

16 April 2014

The City of Johannesburg plans to install 1 000 wi-fi hotspots throughout the city by 2016, executive mayor Parks Tau said on Monday.

The city had spent R1-billion on the broadband network and was now working on access points for the citizens to enjoy the connectivity, Tau said during his state of the city address in Orlando, Soweto.

Thirty-five libraries will be connected by June and all 85 libraries in the city will have free internet access by the end of 2014, the mayor said.

“The broadband network will significantly increase access through our libraries to the internet, including open online courses.”

Tau promised that the roll out would be completed before the end of his five-year mayoral term in 2016.

Training

“Wi-Fi has gone live from today, right here, as we speak, in the Orlando Communal Hall, and at the following nine Rea Vaya stations: Orlando Stadium and police station, Soccer City, Noordgesig, Joburg Theatre, Park Station, Art Gallery, Carlton Centre and Fashion Square,” he said.

The city would train 1 000 students a year in its ICT operations to work in communities to help introduce the latest technology to residents, Tau said. This would ensure that even people who were not tech-savvy would also benefit.

A partnership with the University of Witwatersrand was being established to develop the Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein, which will focus on information technology innovation and small, medium and micro enterprise incubation.

Green transport

The mayor also said Johannesburg planned to expand its dual-fuel Metrobus fleet and would help to grow the bio crops used to produce the fuel.

Around 150 new buses using dual fuel would be purchased in the coming year. An additional 30 would be converted to run on a mixture of compressed natural gas and diesel, Tau said.

The buses are “significantly cleaner” than the diesel versions, emitting 90% less carbon into the environment.

Tau said the biogas fuel would sourced from a range of natural products, including grass cut by City Parks, bio waste from the Fresh Produce Market, as well as from bio crops especially grown for this purpose.

SAinfo reporter and Gauteng Provincial Government