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S/Africa: Broadband internet to transform rural economies

Published on 10.07.2017 ? 11h21 by APA News

Broadband internet has the potential to transform South Africa’s rural economies to overcome many of the challenges of distance and isolation, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.Ramaphosa was speaking at the OR Tambo Broadband Project launch in Mhlontlo and King Sabata Dalindyebo municipalities in the Eastern Cape Province on Sunday. According to the Deputy President, the project was of great significance for the country as a whole, for it will enable farmers to check the prices of goods they produce almost anywhere in the world
and track weather patterns using information technology.

“Broadband internet provides the rural communities with information, access and choice. More than that, broadband internet creates the potential for the emergence of new industries in rural areas.

“In many of the sectors of the economy that are undergoing rapid change as a result of the fourth industrial revolution, it is possible to provide services to global clients from almost anywhere – be it

Mumbai (India), Mombasa (Kenya), Munich (Germany) or Mhlontlo (South Africa).

“Broadband internet provides opportunities to improve the provision of services to communities. Universal access to broadband is therefore critical to inclusive economic growth,” Ramaphosa said. He said the launch of the project marked a milestone in his government’s efforts to ensure access by all communities in urban and rural settings to broadband internet and information technology.

Ramaphosa said: “This is a priority for government because technology holds the key to economic freedom.

Technology provides us with a powerful tool in our struggle to overcome the legacy of apartheid dispossession and exploitation, to address our skills deficit, to create jobs and to eradicate poverty.”