11 October 2022
TikTok has announced a pilot partnership with ThinkWiFi for the deployment of 50 free WiFi hotspots in South Africa in order to promote internet access and reduce digital inequalities.
The ‘TikTok Wi-Fi’ programme’s pilot phase is expected to last six months, and will be located in Soweto, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha and Bushbuckridge. According to digital marketing agency CSA Sha-Izwe, TikTok currently has 6.44 million active users over the age of 18 in South Africa, and interest across the entire continent is growing.
Lack of internet access and/or its high cost is thought to be currently preventing consumers from using the TikTok platform. According to DataReportal, South Africa had 41.19 million internet users in January 2022, a penetration rate of 68.2%. Thus, 19.21 million or 31.8% of South Africans were not connected to the internet at the start of the year.
“We understand that as an entertainment platform accessible on mobile devices, TikTok plays an important role in the digital world,” said Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, director of government relations and public policy for sub-Saharan Africa at TikTok. “Through this pilot, we hope to encourage more people to join digital spaces such as ours, not only to create content, but also to learn new skills and educate other members of the community about their passion and interests.”