ConnectUP is an initiative of Connect to create opportunities for new entrants. It is a type of grassroots academy to meet and address certain education, development, operational, outreach and user needs that we have identified, as well as an opportunity to leverage off ‘user-generated content’. Connect&more partners, commissions, curates and produces short format, hyper-local content that can be broadcast using social media or proprietary platforms direct to mobile phones or over wifi networks. We have also designed and conceptualized an enterprise model to fund new entrants, and support and sustain a community based operating environment comprising Cafés and Kiosks.
Connect supports the Project Isizwe model of using WIFI and the internet to drive social change, enable economic development and improve the quality of peoples’ lives. We agree that every South African citizen should have the right to access good quality, affordable Internet, and that access should not be determined by the socio-economic conditions of the individual, but be based on the principles of social inclusion, equity and fairness. We concur that an important intervention to overcome inequality could be the provision of publicly-funded WiFi throughout public spaces in low-income communities, ideally available in public buildings and within reasonable walking distance of all citizens.