Digital skills for SA’s marginalised

Internet-connectivity-in-SA-villages.jpg

Internet connectivity in SA villages. Photo by Jabulani Sikhakhane

by AKANI CHAUKE 
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) SOUTH Africa’s youth, women, persons with disabilities and the elderly are to receive basic digital literacy skills for social and economic development.

This follows a partnership between Digify Africa and the United Kingdom Government’s Digital Access Programme to deliver a nationwide digital literacy programme.

Known as DigifyBytes, the project will be implemented across all nine provinces of South Africa.

“We are thrilled to be embarking on a partnership of this magnitude with the UK Government, an organisation invested in bringing real value to communities” said Qhakaza Mohare, Chief Operating Officer, Digify Africa.

The one-year programme has a target of 15 000 beneficiaries in rural communities.

It enables them to utilise digital tools to access information, communicate with ease and take advantage of services and opportunities online.

Antony Phillipson, British High Commissioner to South Africa said digital literacy is one of the key barriers for rural communities who wish to participate in the digital economy.

“I am thrilled that the UK Government can support the DigifyBytes programme, helping to equip rural communities in South Africa with knowledge and skills in digital technology, promoting digital inclusion and supporting inclusive economic growth,” the envoy said.

Access to digital skills and literacy remains a critical challenge for marginalised communities.

Many South Africans face barriers like access to the internet, high data costs and basic digital literacy.

These factors were further exposed by the COVID -19 pandemic.

A Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) 2020 report cites that 37 percent of South African households have access to the internet through cell phones or computers.

– CAJ News

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