Free Wi-Fi initiative to be expanded to more areas in Bloemfontein

Students at Motheo TVET College, Thembeka Magase, Hopolang Phakoe and Mpho Kokoropo. Phakoe and Kokoropo say they benefit greatly from the free Wi-Fi and hope it will be rolled out to other areas as soon as possible. PHOTO: SEITHATI SEMENOKANE

The Mangaung Metro Municipality’s free Wi-Fi initiative is to be expanded to other areas in Bloemfontein. The city’s first free Wi-Fi network was installed at Hoffman Square in the Bloemfontein CBD last year.
Municipal spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, said users currently get 50MB of data each and this will increase. He said the municipality is currently in talks with other provincial government departments to ensure that the initiative is rolled out to other areas in the city. Khedama revealed to Voice that they are currently doing internal arrangements to ensure that they engage all the relevant government entities. “So, as soon as we have dealt with the internal arrangements, we will then be able to know where the expansion is headed to and which sites will be targeted,” he explained. He added that the free Wi-Fi initiative is to benefit all Mangaung residents and contribute to the city’s infrastructure development.
Meanwhile, some free Wi-Fi users at Hoffman Square cited limited data and logging in details as some of the challenges they encounter. Kelebogile Modise said she constantly struggles to connect to the internet whenever she is at Hoffman Square and sometimes fears the possibility of being mugged. Students and learners, however, applauded the municipality for this initiative. Hopolang Phakoe and Mpho Kokoropo, students at Motheo TVET College, said they are benefiting greatly from the Free Wi-Fi and hope it will be rolled out to other areas as soon as possible. “I often come here to access my emails and do research for my assignments free of charge. It is of great help to the majority of students, and more specifically to those coming from impoverished families,” said Magase.
Khedama said, although they have not yet received a formal report indicating that the level of crime has increased, they are aware that there have been claims that people have been robbed of their cell phones and tablets whilst at Hoffman Square. He advised users to be careful while using these gadgets. – Katleho Morapela