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[April 23, 2014]
South Africa : Elsies River to become home to new Digital Access Centre [TendersInfo (India)]
(TendersInfo (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The Western Cape Government, in partnership with the City of Cape Town today, 22 April 2014 announced that a R2.8 million digital access centre is set to be launched in Elsies River.
The Interactive Community Access Network (ICAN) Centre forms part of the roll out of the Western Cape Government's R1.3 billion broadband plan to connect communities across the province over the next three years.
Residents will have access to Wi-Fi hotspots, meeting rooms, video-conference facilities, training workshops, study rooms and sound-proof recording booths.
The initiative builds on the success of the City of Cape Town s broadband initiative in which R222 million has been set aside over three years towards the roll out of broadband infrastructure throughout the Metro.
This project has allowed the City and the Western Cape Government to contain and reduce spending on their internal telecommunications costs.
The network has saved R47.6 million in telecommunications costs and avoided R70 million of bandwidth costs for 2013/14 financial year. In turn, these savings become available for economic development initiatives such as the proposed ICAN Centre.
This centre, which is a pilot project, will be located at the Elsies River Multi-Purpose Centre which will undergo substantial refurbishments in the months ahead.
The centre is funded by the Western Cape Government in partnership with the City of Cape Town which has provided the site and will manage the installation of the infrastructure and equipment.
Today, Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, announced the concept, explaining that the Department of Economic Development and Tourism would open the call for Non-Profit Organisations (NPO's) to apply to operate the centre in the next two weeks.
Minister Winde said the successful NPO operator would be required to ensure that Elsies River residents are brought on board to assist with the management of the facility.
Minister Winde, Alderman Demetri Qually, the Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, and Councillor Suzette Little, the Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development, briefed the media on the ICAN concept.
Minister Winde said: The Centre will consist of open spaces for learning, innovation and knowledge production. It will be a space for the entire community. Local entrepreneurs can come and grow their business ideas, learners will have a study resource space and residents will be able to further their ICT training.
Key to the success of the centre will be the social entrepreneurship model. In this model, government partners with local entrepreneurs to establish and maintain public facilities. This model ensures that business opportunities are created for local emerging SMMEs.
Little said: By housing this project in Elsies River, the prospects to address social challenges are endless.
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