SMW Joburg: How One Non-Profit Is Bringing Free Wi-Fi To South Africa’s Poor

By Dana Sanchez AFKI Original Published: September 23, 2014, 11:23 am


Alan Knott-Craig Jr. believes everyone should have the right to free Internet access and he managed to convince local South African governments that he is right. Project Isizwe rolled out six weeks ago in some of the poorest parts of Pretoria, such as Mamelodi and Atridgeville townships.

Knott-Craig first approached local governments in Stellenbosch — his home town — and Cape Town with the offer to raise his own funds to accelerate broadband. They turned him down. Now big cities are calling him. He’s just signed a contract to bring Wi-Fi to two million people in Johannesburg by 2015.

What are people using it for?

“Other than porn, education is our biggest (source of searches)” he told AFKInsider. “More important, people are starting to make money.”

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