Khayelitsha is one of the poorest areas of Cape Town with a median average income per family of R20,000 a year compared to the City median of R40,000.  It is reputed to be the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. The 2011 cencus reported that 400 000 people were living in the area at the time and it is estimated to have doubled since then.

89% of households in Khayelitsha are either moderately or severely food insecure and cannot afford basic services such as education, water, electricity and Internet connectivity.

Khayelitsha has a working age population of 70,2% which signifies the economic potential of the community which we aim to unlock by providing the community with Internet connectivity.

A WiFi network will be deployed in Khayelitsha to provide Internet access in public spaces and will be referred to as Khaye-Fi (Khayelitsha WiFi). The first phase will be the Proof of Concept (PoC).

The PoC will start with the recycling initiative where community members can collect and deposit recyclables at a central collection point.  

The first phase of the initiative involves proving the concept by quantifying the user uptake.  Once this has been established learning and entrepreneurial opportunities will be added along with gaming opportunities, which will allow users to learn and play games in exchange for internet connectivity.  Other services and products can also be incorporated.


The overall project goal is to create a commercially-viable model for local entrepreneurs to build and operate WiFi networks in poor communities by using recycling and education as currency to enable the development of revenue generating opportunities.


Internet access will be gained by:

  • Converting recyclable goods into internet access via a voucher system (phase 1); or by
  • Converting micro-training sessions into internet access via a micro-certification platform; (phase 2) or by
  • Converting gaming sessions into internet via a reward-based gaming model (phase 2). 
This project will serve as a pilot through which we will learn and adapt our model for subsequent sustainable deployments.

Funding model

The Khaye-Fi model will be templated so that it can be funded and copied by any school (or entity) in South Africa, supported by a number of revenue models such as the recycling offering.

Phase 1: Vouchers for collecting recyclable goods

  • Customers will collect and deliver recyclables to a custom-built sorting container located near the WiFi hotspot, preferably inside the school premises.
  • The recyclable goods will be sold to a waste recycling company.
  • WiFi vouchers will be exchanged for 1kg bundles of recyclable goods (the preliminary conversation rate will be 100MB per 1kg).
  • Each voucher will have a unique code for accessing 100MB of WiFi.

Phase 2: WiFi in exchange for completing micro-learning sessions

  • Users will have access to free (sponsored) micro-learning sessions.
  • Micro-learning is a holistic approach for skill-based learning that deals with small learning units that are between 1 and 5 minutes in duration. It involves short-term-focused strategies especially designed for skills-based learning. Learning units will be followed by a short quiz. Upon successful completion of quiz the user will be given a 100MB bundle of WiFi.
  • Learning topics are carefully selected to be applicable to people living in low-income communities.


Partners are asked to connect with us and make a direct impact on the lives of the people living in Khayelitsha.

Partners are carefully selected and approached to become involved in the following possible ways:

  • Sponsor connectivity;
  • Fund micro-learning sessions;
  • Sponsor the micro-learning portal;
  • Provide training material and LMS;
  • Place an advertisement;
  • Help with fundraising (connectivity);
  • Provide subject matter expert (presenter), script and our WIFI TV team will produce a video (with product placement where relevant)?;
  • Data collection; and
  • Access to ‘successful’ learners (feeding stream).

Our partners will have access to:

  • Marketing opportunities;
  • Research opportunities;
  • A new market;
  • Gaining direct market access; and
  • Investing in a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative with real community impact.


Local WiFi Champions will be selected to own and operate the WiFi containers. Their primary duties as follows:

  • Maximise WiFi usage;
  • Collect litter from users and provide vouchers in exchange;
  • Sort and return litter to waste recycling companies; and
  • Manage the local WiFi container.
Closing the digital gap in South Africa is crucial for the future development of the country and economic growth, innovation, production and cost-efficiency. There will also be significant opportunities for job creation, investment and exports. South Africa’s communications sector has been one of the fastest growing of the South African economy and accounts for about 10 percent of GDP. As such, it is crucially important for South Africa to keep abreast of its digital communication needs— and as government has realised -the time for closing the digital gap is right now.’
-The Nerve Africa