Vedanta sponsors “V-Fi” - community free wifi for Khai-Ma

Aggeneys, 14 August 2018: Vedanta Zinc International (VZI) has today (14 August) launched the first phase of its new Community Free WiFi initiative – V-Fi - in the Khai-Ma area.

This first phase consists of the establishment of two hotspots in each of Aggeneys, Pella and Pofadder, which will allow all community members to use 500MB of data per person, per week, when within range of the hotspots.

Officially launching the initiative in Pofadder this afternoon, Northern Cape Premier, the Honourable Sylvia Lucas, told the gathering that "Information is power. And the access to information is one of the greatest assets a person can possess. It therefore goes without saying that I am ecstatic to be part of this grounbreaking initiative spearheaded by Vedanta Zinc International. It is part of their commitment to empower the communities within which they operate and I am confident that you will join me in expressing our gratitude to Vedanta for this community beneficiation programme."

Access to the internet is an integral part of modern day-to-day life, whether for school purposes, academic, professional and skills development, accessing economic opportunities, online banking, entertainment or simply staying in touch with friends and family. At the same time, both the required infrastructure and data are still expensive, putting these benefits out of the reach of many South Africans.

VZI is committed to empowering the communities within which we operate, to skills development and to creating substantial and lasting economic opportunities in those communities. We see enabling access to the internet as one way of working towards these goals, and creating platforms which are beneficial to all.

At the launch event in Pofadder today, Mr Satish Kumar, Vedanta Zinc International’s Vice President: Projects, noted that “Our exciting project pipeline is opening up avenues, such as the Khai-Ma community Wi-Fi provided to you today. Our thinking is clear – without a digitally transformed community, we will not succeed in creating the most technologically & digitally advanced mine. We asked ourselves – how can our community benefit from this? Surely, creating digital equality, is necessary for economic empowerment in this era, which is the exact aim of the V-Fi project. We have to set ourselves up today for success in years to come. We have the power in our hands to positively and dramatically change our future in Khai-Ma. Together we can solve many of the problems confronting us today. Empowering our Khai-Ma community, the free Wi-Fi services will change the way our communities communicate, interact and transact with each other. Most importantly, these services are going to be key building blocks in Khai-Ma’s digital empowerment, transcending social and economic barriers”.

Mr Andre Trytsman, General Manager of Vedanta Zinc International’s Black Mountain Mining complex, told the gathering that “Net soos die wêreldwye Vedanta groep, fokus ons hier by Black Mountain as deel van die werk wat ons doen op sleutel areas van onderrig, die verbetering van vaardighede en die bemagtiging van vroue en die jeug. Digitale bemagtiging van ons jeug en aspirererende entrepreneurs is reeds een van die redes waarom ons hier by julle is vandag. Vandag word ons gekonfronteer deur bestaande uitdagings waarvan die grootste sekerlik werkloosheid onder ons jeug insluit. As ons nie ons benadering tot sosio-ekonomiese ontwikkeling verander nie, gaan ons groter werkloosheid onder ons jeug, in die fleur van hulle lewens, ervaar asook ongeskoolde en/of swak opgeleide mense hier in ons gemeenskap. In samevatting kan ons geen tyd meer verspeel om hierdie probleme op te los nie – ons antwoord le in tegnologie. Ons moet ons jeug blootstelling gee aan kennis en innovering van reg oor die wereld. Vedanta Zinc Internasionaal bied n oplossing om mense te verbind, hulle besighede te vergroot, hulle toegang te bied tot informasie en om hulle lewens te verbeter. Hierdie Wi-Fi oplossing is absoluut gratis vir ons gemeenskap.”

For further information, please contact:

Christo Witbooi
Telephone: +27 79 949 4839 or +27 54 983 9225
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