Cabinet has welcomed the launch of a project that has connected 1 600 households and enabled at least 6 000 community members to access broadband services in KwaZulu-Natal.
The launch of the first Gigabit Mesh Network at Ward 1 of the Greater Kokstad Local Municipality is part of the government's SA Connect programme that aims to achieve universal access to the internet funded through the Broadband Access Fund.
This is according to the Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, who addressed the media on Thursday on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting held this week.
"This network renders Ward 1 of the Greater Kokstad Local Municipality to become the first wall-to-wall connected site in KwaZulu-Natal."
Meanwhile, the Broadband Access Fund, according to the Minister, has empowered Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) internet service providers across the country to support the creation of direct and indirect job opportunities for designated groups such as youth, women and persons with disabilities.
"In the Harry Gwala District Municipality, more specifically, the Broadband Access Fund has been able to empower 12 sub-contracted SMMEs while creating 79 job opportunities for youth, women, men and persons with disabilities."
Meanwhile, in other matters discussed by Cabinet, the Minister also announced that Cabinet approved the draft policy on Water and Sanitation Services on privately owned land.
"The draft policy seeks to explore ways to redress the provision of water services to residents on privately owned land by ensuring there is access to a safe and potable water supply and sanitation."
This, according to Ntshavheni, will be supported by appropriate health and hygiene practices for the people living on those lands that are currently out of the municipal distributing network as envisaged in the Water Services Act, 1997 (Act 108 of 1997).