New Digital Literacy Training Centers in South Africa

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Parks Tau, the executive mayor of Johannesburg, recognizes the infrastructural barriers to mass digital literacy in the city. Currently, 50% of the city’s residents do not have internet access. To bridge this digital gap, he has developed the Digital Ambassadors programme for young people. This involves providing free public WiFi as well as digital literacy training through “micro-companies” delivered by the aforementioned youths.

“The broadband network we as a City have developed is a public asset. It allows us to reindustrialize in a way that builds Joburg as a city, able to compete and lead in both the old industries that are rapidly digitizing and in the new weightless economy of digital services,” says the mayor.

He goes on to say that, “Digital access is becoming as much an equity issue in our society as access to water and electricity.” The initiative has already started connecting the suburb of Braamfontein with high-speed WiFi.

The mayor envisions this improved, subsidized internet access as creating a “mecca of youthful activity,” that will give citizens “access to opportunity.”

Source: Charlie Fripp,