The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has granted US$315,000 to fund research that will help improve Internet speeds in the Cape Flats district of Cape Town, South Africa
Those residing in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha of Cape Flats would be able to get faster Internet connectivity in their homes once the feasibility study has been completed next March.
The deal between the US agency and the South African government was signed during the recent visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Cape Town.
The signing ceremony was attended by Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille and US business executives led by US under secretary for economics Robert Hormats.
De Lille welcomed the grant and said it would boost the city's on-going efforts to build a broadband optic fibre network that could “unlock the enormous economic, social and other benefits associated with access to such infrastructure”.
She added that the survey would also complement the city’s telecommunications strategy to increase access to wireless Internet services to more households, “particularly in areas experiencing low Internet usage such as Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha”.
She expressed her gratitude for the financial contribution, hoping that the outcome of the study would unpack all the details that were necessary to prepare the city to roll out broadband infrastructure in the Cape Flats.
Hormats said US businesses had a grasp of South Africa’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBEE) policy and were keen to invest and forge long partnerships with small scale businesses.