Connecting TVET colleges in rural Eastern Cape
In May 2015, in the town of Mount Frere in the rural Eastern Cape, Project Isizwe deployed high speed internet connectivity to the Ingwe TVET. For the first time, students at both the Mount Frere and Lusikisiki campuses of received dedicated Free WiFi in this momentous pilot of bringing high speed connectivity to TVET rural campuses in the Eastern Cape.
The connectivity was provided in partnership with SES, the world's largest owner and operator of satellites. Each site was provided with a 1.8m C-Band satellite dish, enabling high speed connectivity: 10Mbps download and 2Mbps upload - this is more that 3 times the total internet capacity available to the entire Ingwe group of campuses managed from Mount Frere.
The students instantly fell in love with the WiFi and intuitively started to make use of the connectivity. The joy at being connected was instantly visible and one could feel the social cohesion beginning to set just as the physical infrastructure foundations had.
Students used the connectivity for accessing textbooks and for connecting and communicating on services like WhatsApp and Facebook. Mechanics students quickly began access videos on YouTube and were, in no time, learning how to dismantle something in the engine of a car.
This Project Isizwe initiative enabled quick uptake and impressive user acceptance and adoption of the connectivity. Within 6 months of the installation 2852 users, more than 50% of all the students at both campuses, were connected and making use of the Ingwe Free WiFi.
Free WiFi enables agricultural research
Located in the upper Karoo town of Middelburg in the Eastern Cape, Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute is a one of the oldest agricultural colleges in South Africa. The college is a significant contributor to the prosperity of livestock farming in the arid Karoo region.
Through an innovative pilot project, Project Isizwe is working to bring Grootfontein online as the college strives to fulfil its vision of being the world’s leading centre of excellence in training, research and extension in agricultural production in semi-arid to arid climates.