Youth praises Mascom for ICT technology in rural areas

Mr Tankiso Tankiso, 29, of Semotswane has praised the Mascom Kitsong Centre initiative to spread ICT technology to remote villages.

The initiative affords people in remote areas Internet access, and cuts the costs of travelling to towns just to access technological gadgets.

Mr Tankiso, who owns and manages the Semotswane Mascom Kitsong Centre, said the facility was launched in 2010, and that the place was owned by someone else who had won the tender.

He explained that the centre did not do well, and that it was closed in 2012.  He added that when the tender was re-opened again to the youth of Semotswane, he emerged the winner and that he has owned it since 2013.

Mr Tankiso said when he started, it was difficult to make profits as people were not familiar with the place and its operating hours or services offered.

He noted that the previous owner was inconsistent with his working hours, and that it impacted on the business as it took time for people to know about the operating hours of the centre.

He said residents now appreciate that there was a new owner and management.

Mr Tankiso said the business has started making money and that it sustains itself, him and his family.

He said it was not easy for the business to grow, and that he used marketing strategies such as flyers, posters and social media to advertise the business.

The entrepreneur said he could do much better if he did not use old equipment such as computers and printers.

He has plans to source funds to expand his business from the Youth Development Fund (YDF) and to buy new equipment.

“We are not supposed to pay rent for the space occupied by the caravan, but I am paying rent to the VDC,” said Mr Tankiso.

He said it was not good for him as the initiative was started to uplift the youth. However, he said the rent issue was being looked into.

He noted that the centre covered residents of Semotswane, Shashe Bridge and Mandunyane.

He also said services offered included photo copying, Internet access, sim replacement....

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