The South African Township of Alexandra has become the first location in the world to have a solar powered connection center that will transport the township folk through the digital highway to a destination of their choice.
The world’s first custom-designed connection center, launched by the young entrepreneur Peter Graham of Solar Charge, is an integrated, self-contained, mobile solar powered shipping container, which will provide 100 percent off-grid power for multiple and simultaneous internet user access.
Some of the features and benefits of this social investment project include an educational upliftment, sustainable job creation whilst at the same time providing for the creation of monthly recurring revenue generated from the sale of products and services processed through the Easy Pay Kiosk (prepaid airtime, prepaid electricity), advertising, as well as from other facilities offered E.G. cell phone charging, photocopying, scanning and faxing.
Founder Peter Graham called on the people of Alexandra to embrace the new technology to do their research, produce CV’s, access their e-mails, search for jobs or just generally browse the internet at a much lower cost.
“This centre will allow the youth of Alexandra to have uninterrupted access to the internet at very affordable rates as they will only pay for the time they spend on the internet as opposed to also paying for the data they access and generate. I’m also urging all residents to buy their airtime, prepaid electricity, pay their accounts, traffic fines, charge their cellphones and also do their electronic money transfers, photocopying, scanning and faxing of documents.”
A portion of the revenue generated from the R500 000 center, which will be fully maintained by Solar Charge, will be donated to the Thusong Youth Centre and AlexFM radio station to be used to upgrade their own facilities and services offered to the community.
“When it comes to education, for example, the container is an ideal vehicle for providing access to material and content for students and teachers which can be streamed onto the monitors by proprietary electronic software”.
Thusong Youth Centre manager Beauty More called on schoolchildren to use the center for research and to do their homework in a safe environment as the center is situated in a secure environment.
“We are doing our utmost to ensure Alexandra is put on the world map and I urge our people not to vandalize the facility but to guard it jealously as it is for their own good,” she said.
The internet is free for students, and subsidized for adults. It is the first internet shop in the township.