Universal access to the internet and free public access in South Africa

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Universal access to online information can, should and must be made accessible for all persons in South Africa. This is necessary for the realisation of the full array of fundamental rights guaranteed under the country’s constitutional and international human rights commitments. Further, this is central to achieving a more equitable and informed society, in which all persons in the country are able to unlock the potential that access to the internet, ICTs and other online information can offer.

This has been recognised in policy commitments and statements at the domestic, regional and international levels. However, this is not borne out by the reality on the ground. Rather, South Africa continues to face a significant digital divide, with vulnerable and marginalised communities remaining worst-affected – which only serves to entrench, and potentially worsen, the existing socio-economic divides in the country.

This report puts forward a seven-point plan for achieving universal and a basic level of free access to online information in South Africa. The elements of the plan should be seen as mutually supportive and reinforcing, working together towards the overall aim. This is in no way intended to replace or supplant other existing measures that are being taken with a similar aim; rather, this plan is intended to compliment such measures, and seek better coordination amongst the various measures being taken.

Read the report here Universal Access Report

 

This report is published by:
Media Monitoring Africa

South African National Editors’ Forum

Interactive Advertising Bureau of South Africa

Association for Progressive Communications

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