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The City of Johannesburg’s Smart City project officially kicked off on Wednesday, with the successful launch of the Braamfontein Wireless Mesh.

“We see this is as very transformative initiative that will turbocharge Joburg’s digital economy,” City of Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau said in a statement.

“We have set ourselves an ambitious target to get this going but it is really just the beginning, amazing things are coming and the Smart City is here – this is our vision for a world-class African City.”

Braamfontein will now offer free wi-fi access for everyone within range – giving them access to 300MB of data a day per device.

This facility will allow entrepreneurs, SMMEs, students, employees and visitors to conduct their business on the go, check e-mails, update their social networks on their way to the office or to campus, as well as have access to their online banking or get some shopping done.

The City project will see 1,000 wi-fi hotspots completed by the last quarter of this year as part of the “Smart City” initiative.

“As the roll-out continues, the planned phases of free wi-fi will include the full stack of quad play which includes voice, video, data and mobility, particularly around the student corridors,” Tau said.

With the city centre being connected, it is expected that Johannesburg will surge ahead to be the number one provider of free wi-fi in the country.

The ultimate purpose of the project is to accelerate digital inclusion, improving access to information, and empowering citizens with new ways of interacting with the City on service delivery matters.

“Currently over 50 percent of all libraries and clinics across the seven regions are now consuming free wi-fi provided by the City,” Tau said, adding the planned roll-out phases would include key public areas within the regions such as Zandspruit, Diepsloot, Orange Farm, Ivory Park, Pennyville, Lenasia and Ziberfontein.

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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