The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Cape Town, Khayelitsha

Over 500,000 Capetonians Empowered by City’s SmartCape Programs

Michael Hawthorne

The City of Cape Town’s SmartCape initiative has seen over half a million residents benefit from its free digital inclusion programs. The success of these programs was highlighted during a recent visit by the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Alderman Theresa Uys, to the Harare Library in Khayelitsha.

The visit aimed to both film a segment for the project’s Digital Dialogue video series and observe a Digital Inclusion Training session. The training is designed to provide computer literacy skills, with a focus on creating CVs, and spreadsheets, and navigating the internet safely.

“I am quite excited to have met this keen group of community members who participated in the training,” said Alderman Uys. “This program provides a rounded introduction to computers, covering basic skills, internet use, and cybersecurity.”

The SmartCape program began in 2002, providing five computers in six libraries across the City. Since then, the program has expanded significantly. Today there are 104 libraries equipped with 670 computers, offering 45 minutes of free internet access per user per day.

A testament to the program’s reach, a diverse group from Khayelitsha, aged 18 to 55, attended the recent training. Participants cited numerous reasons for their involvement, including the desire to learn how to apply for jobs, manage their businesses effectively, and assist their children with homework.

The SmartCape initiative demonstrates the City of Cape Town’s commitment to bridging the digital divide. “Many residents are exposed to a desktop computer for the first time through SmartCape,” said Alderman Uys. The City recognizes the importance of providing both the necessary equipment and the educational support needed to maximize the benefits of technology.

Residents are encouraged to visit their local library to sign up for SmartCape services and Digital Inclusion Training. Looking ahead, the City of Cape Town plans to expand the SmartCape program with the introduction of additional resources, including:


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