Sebenza, A 'Working' Impact on Commuting Communities

Published: Thursday, May 18, 2023

Community AffairsCommunity DevelopmentElectronics/ComputersTelecommunications

"Technology is best when it brings people together," said Matt Mullenweg, the developer of WordPress, succinctly expressing the synergy between technology, people, and connection.

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Keeping these words in mind, Sebenza, the free wifi solution for taxi commuters, not only unifies people but also connects them to brands and the world. Beyond its apparent benefits, their innovative provision of free wifi and content to taxi commuters holds significant advantages for daily travelers.

South Africa has been labeled the most unequal country in the world by the World Bank. Global Citizen emphasizes that "Technology without digital access in education and employment poses a risk of exacerbating inequality in South Africa." Project Isizwe studies reveal that "7.5 million low-income South Africans pay 80 times more than middle- and upper-income citizens for internet access, further widening the inequality gap."

Among the daily commuters, 27% are students, and 20% travel to and from school. Students gain immense benefits by choosing Sebenza for their commute. With Sebenza, students have internet access during their daily travel, enabling them to conduct research and access information that enhances their education. The Sebenza platform becomes a space where brands can offer continuous learning opportunities beyond the confines of classrooms or offices.

"In South Africa, millions of commuters travel significant distances within the city, moving between taxi ranks before reaching their destinations. One immediate benefit for passengers is a simpler, more enjoyable, and entertaining commute," says Mayi Tshwete, the Official Spokesperson for Sebenza. The entertainment aspect includes games, engaging content, and tailored advertisements. Such distractions reduce the perception of travel time. The Sebenza solution directly addresses the digital divide.

Sebenza Free Wifi Makes a Real Community Impact at Work

While abundant educational resources are available online, individuals need internet access to utilize them. Brands that provide these empowering educational tools can now reach an exclusive commuter market that desperately requires education to bridge the inequality gap in South Africa. Similarly, there is an opportunity for increased productivity. Commuting time can be utilized to check emails, make progress on projects, or conduct work-related research. Free wifi helps commuters stay connected to friends, family, or work colleagues in emergency situations. Tshwete acknowledges the importance of commuter safety in South Africa, stating, "We are currently exploring the addition of an emergency button on Sebenza to enhance commuter safety. This commuter/pedestrian safety content is a project we hope to launch soon."

Furthermore, in exchange for free wifi, passengers are rewarded for engaging in meaningful interactions with brands through Sebenza bucks.

Passengers who engage with content on the platform earn Sebenza Bucks, which can be redeemed in various ways. Commuters can use the bucks to purchase internet time or participate in the "spin 'n win" wheel for a chance to win grocery, food, or data vouchers. As the platform grows, Sebenza Bucks and the platform's versatility will evolve to serve the community in even better ways.

"Sebenza," meaning "to work," truly lives up to its name by striving to enhance the daily commute and the lives of hundreds of thousands of taxi users.

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