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Cape Town, Africa’s most digitally connected city, is a proud host of the 2021 SA Innovation Summit

South Africa is ranked second for having Africa’s fastest internet speeds with Cape Town boasting easy to find, reliable and fast WiFi. Picture: Supplied

South Africa is ranked second for having Africa’s fastest internet speeds with Cape Town boasting easy to find, reliable and fast WiFi. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 16, 2021


Digital technology is the defining megatrend of the current era. It’s truly reshaping the landscape of civil society, affecting the public and private sectors, as well as creating new opportunities for organisations and businesses. South Africa is ranked second for having Africa’s fastest internet speeds with Cape Town boasting easy to find, reliable and fast WiFi. It’s no surprise that Cape Town has long been acknowledged as one of Africa’s leading digital cities.

In fact, since 2014, the metropolis has made significant advances when it comes to harnessing the power of Information Technology. This has led to sizeable investments in creating the infrastructures that now encourages even more digital connectivity on the continent than ever before.

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The Mother City features a robust network of fibre-optic cables, which has greatly accelerated internet access to over a million people in the city. Largely due to the introduction of over 400 free Wi-Fi zones that are currently spread out across the metro. By the end of 2021, the City’s broadband project will deliver a fully functional, municipal-owned fibre-optic network that will serve the entire metro area. This will even further expand the internet options in Cape Town, particularly for those who require fibre for business activities.

Cape Town’s Digitalization

The Digital Economy and broadband access are the elemental factors underpinning the future growth of the Western Cape region. The City of Cape Town has implemented a broader Digitech strategy that aims to make the metro a globally competitive city when it comes to digital infrastructure, business initiatives, and facilitating a digital government.

This strategy includes:

* Investing in commercial telecommunication services, infrastructure and providing backhaul solutions for commercial operators. This ensures that telecommunication companies may extend their own networks across the City’s infrastructure to provide high-speed broadband services anywhere in the metro area.

* Similarly, ensuring the City’s network infrastructure is operated on ‘open access’ principles assists telecommunications service providers to extend the reach of their own networks to provide broadband services to their customers. Fibre-optic cables and microwave links are currently used to connect over 346 City buildings at speeds of up to 1Gbps.

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* The City also offers related services such as co-location of equipment in switching centres, as well as cross-connecting between the City’s and the client’s network infrastructures.

* Cape Town also features numerous coworking spaces, digital-nomad friendly cafes and lower costs of living. This makes the metro an ideal place for remote workers from all over the world. These facilities usually offer workspaces with fibre optic internet, desks and meeting rooms. They are the perfect environment for remote workers and digital entrepreneurs to meet like-minded professionals.

Future Growth Opportunities

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With such a strong foundational infrastructure, Cape Town offers a number of opportunities for even more digital connectivity in the Western Cape. For example, the city’s creative software design and development sector is booming. Given the global demand for software design and development, Cape Town is in a unique position to become a true global innovation hub. The strength of South Africa’s banking sector alone provides a niche for Cape Town to be the African gateway to greater ICT-related technologies in software development too.

The City of Cape Town’s mission is that by 2030, every citizen will have access to affordable high-speed internet (infrastructure and services), as well as have the necessary skills to be able to effectively utilise this infrastructure. World-class courses provided by the four universities in the Western Cape also ensures that this education can be prioritised for anyone interested in digital career streams.

In summary, the City of Cape Town is continuously improving telecommunications and technological infrastructure across the provincial and local government spaces. This also involves improving access to broadband infrastructure, information and opportunities – broadening the participation of all citizens from all walks of life in the economy. This, in turn, will also increase access to new opportunities and markets, while making the city more competitive and attractive to enterprises from all over the world. Not to mention, also creating an opportunity for all sorts of new service-oriented businesses to emerge in the local, national and international arenas.

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Contact us today for detailed information on the digital connectivity in Cape Town and the greater Western Cape region. Our friendly, knowledgeable Business Hub team provides support and advice on everything you will need to set up a business or organisation within the Mother City’s globally competitive environment.

For more information, visit Invest Cape Town