Primary school in rural KZN connects to the internet
In the very rural, northernmost Umkhanyakude District of KwaZulu-Natal lies the traditional town of Hluhluwe. In 2015, residents in this underdeveloped community, around Phumlani Primary School were connected to the internet, enabled by an innovative partnership between Karimatech, the Umhlosinga Development Agency (UMDA: KwaZulu-Natal’s LED agency) and Project Isizwe.
The Umkhanyakude District is one of the most deprived districts in South Africa, indicators of which include high unemployment rates, limited access to piped water and electricity, female-headed households with high numbers of children, and low education levels.
The Umhlosinga Development Agency is the economic development agency of the Umkhanyakude District, established with the vision to create an inclusive district economy that benefits the district’s communities.
As part of the agency’s programme to fast-track the development of the local economy and recognising the need for supportive development in the area, a Karimatech-UMDA-LED partnership sponsored the deployment of a Free Internet Zone (FIZ) at Phumlani Primary School. Educators, learners and local residents are now able to access high speed internet, with 250MB of Free WiFi allocated to each user per day. Once a user’s 250MB cap is reached, unlimited access is given to the Tobetsa portal which provides curated educational and employment-enabling content. To foster and encourage the work and reach of the Umhlosinga Development Agency unlimited access is also given to the district website, local municipality website and Umhlosinga Development Agency website in an attempt to empower the local communities to achieve maximum socio-economic development.