Siyafunda CTCs: Empowering, Educating and e-Connecting Communities, South Africa

Filed under: March 2010 |


The dream behind initiating the Siyafunda Community Technology Centre project was to ‘bring ICT to the communities and to ensure that all citizens of Ekurhuleni are computer literate and have access to ICTs’. This initiative also envisages the skill development of the youth, thereby making them employable and alleviating unemployment by networking with recruitment and government agencies and businesses, thus becoming an enabler for job creation. The Siyafunda CTC programme was successful mainly because of partnering with relevant stakeholders from the local government and private business organisations.

Ahmed Ismael or Smiley, the brain behind this initiative, has been working in the ICT fi eld for the past 34 years. For as long as Ahmed Ismael can remember, he had always felt the need to ‘give back’ to his community. Whether it is monetary resources or just his time, ‘giving’ is something that has been instilled in him ‘through family, school and religion. It is this call that led him to establish the
Siyafunda CTCs in 2006, which educate and empower communities by providing access to ICTs and affordable e-learning materials; and e-connect communities by providing free access to Internet and other online facilities.

The success of the Siyafunda CTC model has encouraged him to replicate this model. Initially it started with seven centres operating in Palm Ridge in Alberton, Wattville-Benoni, Duduza-Nigel, Tsakana- Brakpan, Daveyton – Benoni, Tembisa and Katlehong on
the East Rand, but they are thinking about opening six more centres shortly. The innovative ICT practices being used in the CTCs are proving very effective.

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