The principal of Eric Louw High School, Mr Johan Minnie receives high definition television set from the Deputy Minister of Communications, Pinky Kekana.

A 16-year-old Grade 11 learner at Eric Louw High School in Musina, Henko Erwee said the presentation of six new laptops, high definition television, free internet and Wi-Fi connection in his school will enhance learning while at the same time transforming traditional learning methods into e-classrooms.

The handing over is part of South Africa Connect, a government’s ambitious national broadband policy that was adopted in 2013, and aims to deliver widespread broadband access to the people of South Africa.  The national project was launched in Musina by the Deputy Minister of Communications, Pinky Kekana.

Partners in the project include the Department of Communications, Broadband Infraco (BBI), MTN, State Information Technology Agency (SITA), Africa Society for Cyber Security Awareness (ASCSA), SENTECH and the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA).

When handing over the equipment, Kekana said the launch comes at the right time when the government is rolling out the Special Economic Zone initiative in Musina. “Local political leadership, community stakeholders and the education fraternity should embrace this initiative because it will assist this place to become a smart city. You must take advantage of this initiative because as a border town, it will assist you to cope well with innovative changes in this fourth industrial revolution world. The fact that we are launching it here in Musina should make you proud as other provinces will follow suit after you have experienced the many benefits of connectivity.”

Kekana said the initiative will prepare local learners to become future innovators. “We are proud of this school which has been producing 100% pass rate for many years in succession. Our visit today is part of saying “thank you” to the educators, learners, parents, school governing body and all stakeholders who contributed towards your success. However, we urge you to protect the equipment against theft and vandalism.”

The principal of Eric Louw High School, Johan Minnie said the school is grateful to have been chosen as a launching pad for the massive national connectivity project. He said the presentation will encourage them to work hard and promised to take good care of the donated equipment.

Mr Andrew Matseke, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Broadband Infraco (BBI), a state owned company which is a major stakeholder of the project, said there are 1 210 sites in the Vhembe district that need to be connected, the majority of which are schools and health facilities. “We have so far connected 60 sites and currently working on additional 50. This means that at the end of March this year, we would have connected a total of 110 here in Vhembe.” He concluded.