WC to build seven community centres

The Western Cape government wants the poor to have access to the internet.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille addresses a Heritage Day gathering in Gugulethu on 24 September 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government plans to build seven brand new community centres where the poor can access internet services and learn computer skills.

The facilities will be built in areas like Bredasdorp, Grabouw, Mossel Bay and Worcester.

Premier Helen Zille announced in her budget vote in the provincial legislature on Friday that R400 million has been allocated to beefing up IT services and broadband connectivity.

She says this sort of investment is important.

"We can't compete internationally, we can't grow our economy, we can't get investments, so establishing the network of connectivity through e-platforms is as essential to a modern day economy as a transport system that functions properly."

Meanwhile, the ANC in the province believes Zille has again marginalised the poor by allocating the bulk of her office's budget to improving broadband connectivity and IT services.

R25 million has been allocated to refresh out-dated servers and IT infrastructure throughout the province.

A further R29 million will be spent on connectivity.

The ANC's Lynne Brown says the money should have been spent elsewhere.

"The premier is spending almost 53 percent of this budget on computers. Whereas we can see that within our province, we have real socio-economic problems. What about the people of the Cape."