TikTok launches free Wi-Fi hotspots in South Africa

Social media platform TikTok has partnered with free public Wi-Fi company Think WiFi to launch 50 new free Wi-Fi hotspots as part of a pilot programme in South Africa.

The hotspots will be spread across Soweto in Gauteng, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha in the Western Cape, and Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, with the pilot expected to run over six months.

“This is a move by the entertainment platform to drive awareness and advocacy relating to the digital divide and the need for digital literacy inclusion for all communities,” a statement on the initiative said.

The launch of the pilot coincides with World Literacy Day and its theme of “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces”, focusing on the stagnant growth in Internet penetration.

“We understand that as an entertainment platform accessible on mobile devices, TikTok plays an important role in the digital world,” said TikTok director for government relations and public policy in Sub-Saharan Africa, Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda.

“With this pilot, we hope to encourage more people to join digital spaces such as ours, to not only create content but to learn new skills and educate fellow community members about their passion and interests.”

ThinkWiFi CEO Janine Rebelo said the Internet offered “endless” opportunities for South Africa’s youth, but many did not have access to digital hardware, digital literacy skills, or connectivity.

“The latter reality is exacerbated by the high cost of data and the limited availability of infrastructure to support broadband penetration targets,” Rebelo stated.

Janine Rebelo, Think WiFi CEO

Think WiFi originally launched its free Wi-Fi initiative in collaboration with Google and its Google Station programme.

The Internet giant shut down its free Wi-Fi initiative globally in February 2020 and handed over all operations in South Africa to Think WiFi.

Rebelo recently told MyBroadband the programme was flourishing and had added more hotspots over the past two years than when Google was involved.

As of June 2022, Think WiFi offered 442 free public Wi-Fi hotspots across Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the Western, Eastern, and Northern Cape.

The map below shows where some of the hotspots in Gauteng are located.

Now read: Best Wi-Fi extenders under R1,500

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
TikTok launches free Wi-Fi hotspots in South Africa