Cape Town - Smartphones and surface tablets are now available for public use at a new library of technological devices in Langa, Cape Town.
The library was officially launched at iKhaya le Langa this week and offers a space where members from the community can use the devices “for enterprise and entrepreneurial purposes”.
The World Design Capital (WDC) project was created in collaboration with Microsoft, which supplies tablets, smartphones, training and workshops in the library space at iKhaya le Langa, a former primary school turned “centre for aspirational development”.
The aim of the library, also a coffee shop, is to “empower and uplift the community of Langa, leaving a lasting legacy”.
Residents of Langa will be asked to go through induction training before becoming members who will have access to the devices and courses offered. About 100 people are already members.
Members are taught how to use Microsoft devices and software, Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote) and services like Skype for video calls, Bing for search and OneDrive and the Microsoft cloud storage solution.
Founder of iKhaya le Langa, which means House of the Sun, Tony Elvin said: “We want to create a new aspirational narrative here.
But they needed involvement from corporates. He said the relationship they had developed with Microsoft was “fantastic”.
“We heard about Tony’s dreams for this centre and it really touched us,” said Justin Maier, head of marketing for Microsoft mobile devices in South East Africa.
Maier said the centre currently had about seven tablets and about 10 Nokia Lumia smartphones, with another 10 coming.
“It gives the community access to so many different services so we’re really excited about that,” he said.
Training would help residents further develop and enhance the full potential of what they could do with technology.