COJ spends R40m on 500MB free Wi-Fi per day for Joburg residents

Thanks to amendments made to the 2020/21 to 2022/23 Medium Term Budget by the City of Johannesburg Council earlier this year, inner city residents can now enjoy access to 500MB of data per day capped at a speed of 5Mbps.

Just look at how young ppl have to congregate outside Traffic office just to get some access to wifi????. @CityofJoburgZA you can change this. If the city of Joburg can be a place of opportunity & access. Where Black people's dignity & rights are prioritized, it would be wonderful.

— Thula Sindi (@thulasindi) July 23, 2020

This rollout is part of a 2012 project to connect the inner city. However, the project quietly faded into obscurity and "took a backseat" for four years, according to the current MMC for Finance, Jolidee Matongo.

The aim of the rollout is to "give residents free access to online municipal services, economic opportunities, and academic materials, especially for young people."

Today we are re-launching the free #JoburgWiFi hotspots roll-out. This is after the free wifi roll- out took a backseat in the past four years. – @MatongoMmc ^PS

— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) September 13, 2020

R40 Million has been allocated from the 2020/2021 #JoburgBudget20 into the roll-out of the free #JoburgWiFi hotspots to even hostels,flats, student villages and old age homes. –@MatongoMmc ^PS

— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) September 15, 2020

Matongo was speaking at the launch of the project held in Johannesburg earlier this week where it was also announced that the cap per user had been increased from 300mb to 500mp per day.

Today we launch the City of Johannesburg's Braamfontein WiFi, that is meant to ensure that young people within the precinct are connected online across the entire precinct.#WeServeJoburg

— MMC Jolidee Matongo (@MatongoMmc) September 13, 2020

According to the City of Johannesburg, the hotspots that are already alive across the City are already accessed by up to 6,000 devices. In future, the city plans to make "enhancements" to their infrastructure that will allow the city to collect analytics which "will ensure insightful reporting on the usage of the hotspots."

There are currently 84 active free Joburg WiFi hotspots across the City scattered throughout the Braamfontein Precinct and in some of the city's municipal customer service centres.

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(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho) 

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