Nteletsa project makes communication easy
Young people of Mmaphashalala Village in the Central District are now able to communicate with the rest of the world courtesy of Mascom Wireless and the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
They said this recently at a ceremony in their village marking the completion of Nteletsa II, the second phase of the Nteletsa initiative, a partnership between Mascom and the government, through the Ministry of Transport and Communications to improve communication in rural areas.
In the Nteletsa project the government subsidises the installation,operations and maintenance of infrastructure over a ten year period. So far 41 villages have benefitted from the project.
Speaking to The Voice at the official opening of their own “Kitsong and Community Access Centre” Mmaphashalala youth said the Centre which provides internet,photocopying, money sending and receiving facilities is the best thing that has happened to their village in a long time.
“We are all excited and relieved. The Mascom signal which we used to hunt has improved and we can now use our cellphones anywhere and any time. We no longer play the frustrating sport of signal searching which was tedious and frustrating. We now also do photocopying here instead of going to Mahalapye. My only wish is for all villages to have such facilities”, said 22-year-old Ofitlhile Mogaseng.
Another young person who is over the moon with the development is 17-year-old Gaolebale Tlhabologang who is awaiting her form five results.
“I am happy because I don’t have to travel to Mahalapye to browse the internet. Most of us can now read the newspapers on-line which is great. Besides saving us time it also saves our parents a lot of money in transport costs”.
A lot of other people interviewed were also of the opinion that the Kitsong Centre in Mmaphashalala is a welcome development.
Meanwhile Mascom and government officials who spoke at the ceremony reiterated their commitment to improving communication in rural areas. Mascom Chief Executive Officer, Jose Viera Couceiro, said the Nteletsa project is a clear example of how public and private sector can work together for the benefit of the community.
“Today I can confirm that 41 Kitsong Centres have been established. 21 are operated by local enterprenuers, 16 by Village Development Committees, 2 by parents and another 2 by Primary schools”, Coucerio added saying that Mascom intends to make the centres an important part of their distribution network.
For his part Transport and Telecommunications Minister Frank Ramsden said the government is committed to delivering quality telecommunications services to Batswana as per the 1996 Rural Telecommunications Development Strategy.