Cape Town free Wi-Fi inches forward - TechCentral

Cape Town free Wi-Fi inches forward


The City of Cape Town is taking a cautious approach to rolling out its Wi-Fi infrastructure, despite political will to expand public access to the Internet.

“There are too many examples of public Wi-Fi initiatives by other cities which have failed after the initial euphoria of the launch is forgotten and the ongoing financial liability the service presents needs to be burdened (sic) by the taxpayer,” said City of Cape Town chief information officer André Stelzner.

City officials have proposed a R1,2bn broadband plan that would boost access to the Internet for poor people in the city, and despite a budget allocation of R152m over the last two years, the city said that timelines are “determined largely by the available budget”.

The Western Cape provincial government is rolling out a Wi-Fi programme intended to grant Internet access to mainly poorer communities and Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain have already benefited.

“In the next three years, every ward will have at least one [Wi-Fi] hotspot,” MEC Alan Winde promised in June this year.

Stelzner said that Cape Town has about 170 Wi-Fi hotspots and plans to construct another 120 by the end of the year.

“Through an open-access model this [broadband]infrastructure is made available to service providers who, then in exchange for accessing the infrastructure, provide a specified daily allowance of free internet data to citizens,” he said.

In Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain, residents have access to 3GB of data per day, well above the standard 100MB in other areas.

About 30 000 residents currently access the City of Cape Town’s Wi-Fi network, while in Gauteng, 165 000 unique users per month access 633 public hotspots in the City of Tshwane.  — Fin24


  1. The areas which the DA wants votes, the rest of Cape Town is “rich” areas they don’t need free wifi.

  2. The Emperor has no clothes... on

    They have to start somewhere. Yes there’s an obvious political agenda but would you rather that they do nothing at all?

  3. The way the media announced it , it as if the whole of Mitchell’s Plain and Khyalitsa got free Wi Fi. It is only a small block may by like 50 houses.

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