by Gugu Lourie
Anyone who seriously thought that the South African government was going to spend more money into implementing broadband access in the country simply hasn’t been paying attention and the budget delivered on Wednesday confirmed that politicians don’t see fast Internet access as a priority for its citizens.
South Africa will spend a mere R1.9 billion to implement broadband in the country, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday in a budget speech.
Gordhan said the 2017 budget allocates funds over the mini budget period of R1.9 billion versus R1.6 billion in 2016.
These funds are aimed at driving SA Connect broadband programme to support access in remote areas and schools, healthcare facilities plus government institutions.
Gordhand explained that the funds will be allocated to the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services over the medium term to invest in high-speed internet connections in public buildings and schools in eight NHI pilot districts.
To show that broadband is not important, Gordhan only mention broadband twice in his speech.
Clearly, South Africans even government institutions must rely on the private sector to deliver broadband and network infrastructure for the Internet of Things.
It is important to note that since all economic relationships are also social relationships, it follows that the alienation of the poor class from accessing broadband is likely to have direct social ramifications.
For more read: Fibre Deployment Alienates SA’s Poor