The community of Kenhardt now have access to free wi-fi, funded by Aries Solar Power, with the aim of helping to transform this rural community. The service is accessible at a central community office, but there are plans in place to expand the project footprint to other locations such as schools, once the area has more stable wireless and fibre services.
“The community of Kenhardt is not only isolated geographically, but slow connections and expensive data reduces access to opportunities that their urban counterparts take for granted,” said Tsholofelo Moote, Economic Development Practitioner for Aries Solar Power.
The support will include the installation of wi-fi infrastructure as well as free data for all community members, accessible at the offices of the Kenhardt Community Development Committee, thereby providing free internet services to community members willing to travel to the office. To discourage abuse, a daily cap has been set, with the intent of encourging meaningful browsing.
The infrastructure was in place last month, in anticipation of the festive season, which enabled community members to apply for jobs and bursaries as well as access services and information with ease.
“Lack of signal also prevents small businesses to search for opportunities, whilst many members of the community feel left behind because they do not have access to wi-fi, so we hope that by implementing this project, their lives will improve with easier connection beyond the town of Kenhardt,” concluded Moote.
BOILER PLATE: Aries Solar Power is majority owned by Globeleq, and its consortium partners. Shareholders include: Globeleq; Main Street 933, owned by Winners Circle; Main Street 935, owned by Malibongwe Women Development Trust, Ikamva Labantu Empowerment Trust and The Aries Solar Facility Community Trust. The project company is operated and managed by Globeleq South Africa.