With two-thirds of South Africans out in the cold when it comes to Internet access, the WiFi Forum SA (WFFSA) will redouble its advocacy for public access WiFi across South Africa.
The commitment to universal service was made by the WFFSA’s “top three” who were again installed at the helm of the collaborative, self-regulating body this week.
The WFFSA’s recently-elected management committee for 2016/2017 met in Johannesburg to elect the office bearers and sub-committee members who will continue to promote the utilisation of WiFi in the delivery of seamless connectivity in South Africa.
Andile Ngcaba, Raj Wanniappa and Mpho Mokete were elected unopposed as chairperson, executive deputy-chairperson and treasurer, respectively.
Ngcaba comments: “Much of what people talk about today is centred on what they saw on the web. For 35-million South Africans who might be visiting friends, waiting for transport or taking their lunch breaks, those conversations are meaningless.
“The WFFSA is working towards the kind of inclusive society that universal WiFi access can create. We’ve already made progress in getting diverse network operators to buy into the long-term goal of a heterogenous network offering seamless nationwide access to the web. We’ll continue the push for greater WiFi access into 2017.”
The benefits of ubiquitous WiFi access are many. For example, a recent World Bank study showed that there is a clear correlation between Internet access and GDP growth. When Internet access was increased to 10% for any population, there was a concomitant 1,38% increase in economic growth.
The WFFSA’s management committee elected the chairpersons of the various sub-committees, as follows:
* Communications: Envir Fraser;
* Events: Raj Wanniappa;
* Members: Bruce Pitso;
* Partnerships and engagements: Raj Wanniappa;
* Regulatory: Envir Fraser;
* Stakeholder management: Zanele Monnakgotla;
* Standards: Kervin Pillay; and
* Training and CSI: Zanele Monnakgotla.
Management committee members elected at the WFFSA’s second annual general meeting (AGM) held last month included Andile Ngcaba, Bruce Pitso, Gareth Mortimer, Kervin Pillay, Mpho Mokete, Raj Wanniappa and Zanele Monnakgotla. Envir Fraser and William Stucke will assist the committee as co-opted members.
“A formidable team is on board and South Africa will reap the benefits as it gets down to work playing an active role in the country’s Wi-Fi policy development process,” says Ngcaba.