THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has committed to constructing towers in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North province, to boost telecommunications connectivity in the district.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Potraz also committed to ensuring that Tsholotsho among other marginalised districts in the country are up to speed with e-learning and e-governance to ensure the district is connected to the global village.
Tsholotsho suffers network connectivity, with villagers in areas such as Pumula being forced to climb trees and mountains just to make a telephone call.
On Thursday, Potraz handed over information communication technology (ICT) equipment including 25 laptops and four multi-purpose industrial printers to Sipepa Hospital and Tsholotsho School of Nursing, Tshino Primary School and Dlamini Secondary School as part of Potraz’s e-learning and e-government drive.
Potraz head of marketing and international relations Sibonginkosi Muteyiwa said the telecommunications regulatory body is also engaging the Tsholotsho Rural District Council for land to construct towers to boost network connectivity.
“The significance of the e-learning project is to ensure that every government department is connected in terms of ICT. ICTs are a critical element of economic development. We want everybody to be connected so that we are all part of the global economic system,” Muteyiwa said, adding the project fell under the Universal Services Fund.
“We are not only doing this in Tsholotsho, but everywhere to ensure that everybody regardless of where they are situated is connected. We have also engaged the local authority so that they provide us with a site at a reasonable price so that we can put up a tower to ensure that the people of Pumula village are also connected to the world.”
Potraz board vice-chairperson Sibangumuzi Khumalo who reportedly “begged” the telecommunications regulatory body to also assist Tsholotsho told Southern Eye his wish was to ensure the district is not left behind in the e-learning drive.
Former President Robert Mugabe launched the e-learning drive in 2012, to complement the Presidential Schools Computerisation Programme years earlier, but Khumalo said Tsholotsho still lagged behind.
“It is very important to me that we received such assistance from Potraz. There is a huge requirement for these gadgets in the district and perhaps with time and resources permitting Tsholotsho will be able to catch up with other areas.
“Our wish is to see more schools and clinics receiving the ICT equipment. We want to ensure that there is development in our community; that we are not left behind in this digital revolution,” Khumalo said.
Tsholotsho district medical officer, Ntambiyakogasa Sithole, Bhekimpilo Mahlangu the district schools inspector and acting district administrator Tapiwa Muzerengi gave the thumbs up to Potraz for the e-learning project.