Is Service Delivery Protest a Meaningful Act of Expression or An Act that Can Just Be Switched Off?

After twenty two years of democracy and 20 years of the Constitution becoming effective; some parts of society in South Africa resort to the use of protests to get their voices heard. It is of concern that these protests are also joined by young people whom the future of this country requires them to be actively involved in equipping themselves with knowledge and skills to be able to engage and be active citizens in the running of the country. A question to be asked is – are these actions a desperate measure to polarise public opinion; are they effective in getting politicians to act?

South Africans Going Digital – SAIRR

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says people in South Africa and the rest of the world are increasingly going digital, be it for business or leisure.

SAIRR states that the Internet users are growing in number in spite of relatively slow broadband speeds and high costs.

It says the largest single share of Internet users among the four population groups, are people who gain access via cellphones or mobile networks.

Cell C to Enter the LTE Race in SA

Mobile network operator, Cell C, is set to enter the LTE race in South Africa after announcing a plan to invest R8 billion in a next generation broadband network.

Rivals Vodacom, MTN and Telkom Mobile have already launched LTE networks in South Africa with Vodacom being the first to launch LTE in South Africa in 2012.

However, Cell C, which is South Africa’s third largest mobile network, plans to catch up after signing agreements with Chinese telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE.

MultiChoice, SABC Deal Criticised

The controversial R550 million agreement governing the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) 24-hour news channel on MultiChoice’s DStv bouquet is back in the spotlight as a group of broadcasting and media stakeholders launched a legal bid to get competition authorities to review the deal.

According to City Press, Caxton Publishers, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and the SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition have joined forces in the legal bid before the Competition Tribunal, arguing the deal is not in the public interest.

Vodacom to Connect 250 000 Homes

Vodacom plans to connect 250 000 homes and businesses to fibre broadband over the next three years.

The company announced that it has signed on Alcatel-Lucent to build a ‘gigabit passive optical networking (GPON) solution’ in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.

Vodacom says the mobile network says it plans to reach about 150 000 homes and 100 000 business within the next three years.

MISA Launches Youth Usage of Social Media Study

Media Institute of South Africa (MISA) has partnered with the Swaziland Youth Empowerment Organisation (LUVATSI) to launch its study on youth usage of social media, which focuses on the benefits and disadvantages of the use of social media by young people.

According to Vuyisile Hlatshwayo, national director for MISA Swaziland, social media is an important source of information for young people that gives them greater freedom to express themselves.

Mokonyane Urges Rand Water to Communicate Better

Water and sanitation minister, Nomvula Mokonyane's office urges Rand Water to work closer and to communicate better with communities regarding water supply interruptions and other challenges.

Speaking at a meeting with the board, Mokonyane reminds the board that “[as a member]… you have a responsibility towards the communities you serve."

The board had to close the gap between their commitment to communities and what was eventually delivered, it also had to look at their current way of doing things, and how it could possibly be changed for positive results.

Universal Internet With Free Wi-Fi for WC

The Western Cape provincial government intends to offer universal access to the internet to all its residents as it drives public access Wi-Fi.
MEC for Economic Opportunities in the Western Cape, Alan Winde, points out that, "By 2030 all households in high, medium and low priority wards should have access to the internet by means of various technologies such as public WiFi access, and/or mobile network connectivity."

Zimbabwe's Health System in Crisis

Economists, government officials and health experts agree that Zimbabwe’s deepening economic crisis is severely affecting the government’s ability to fund public health delivery and restricting poor people access to healthcare.

The economy showed signs of modest improvement under the government of national unity (GNU) between 2009 and 2013, however industry has been performing poorly and company closures have increased since the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) won the general elections in July 2013.

Facebook Offers Free Internet Access

Facebook is launching a mobile application to give users in Zambia free access to a handful of online services on mobile phones, to broaden an effort of boosting Internet usage in underdeveloped countries.
In partnership with wireless operator Airtel, the application will offer more than a dozen services including online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, websites devoted to weather, job listings and health information, as well as Facebook's own social network and messaging service.


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