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Title: Government public access centres (PACs): A beacon of hope for marginalised communities
Authors: Uys, Cornelia Susanna 
Pather, Shaun 
Keywords: Government Public Access Centres (PACs);World summit on Information Society;African continent
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: The Journal of Community Informatics
Source: Uys, C., Pather, S. (2016). Government Public Access Centres (PACs): a beacon of hope for marginalised communities. The Journal of Community Informatics, 12(1), 21-52.
Abstract: Notwithstanding massive injections into broadband infrastructure, large sectors of the world’s population remain without access to the internet. One of the strategies employed by government and the private sector to address the digital divide has been to provide basic computing services and internet access to communities in the form of public access centres (PACs), otherwise known as telecentres. Over the years, PAC related interventions have been subjected to much introspection and critique given a number of examples of failures. This paper examines a PAC program in South Africa which has been running successfully since 2003. The paper reports on a study which includes data collected from more than 2400 users of PACs. The findings provide critical insights into the value proposition of PACs for communities in impoverished areas and whether this approach is still relevant from a policy perspective to tackle the digital divide. The findings also provide insights into the profile of users; the factors which impact on their choice of a PAC as an internet access point; and the extent to which there is a reliance on PACs. The most revealing finding from the study indicates that PACs provided the average user with something more than just an internet access point. The study has determined that PACs have a significant effect on the hopefulness a citizen has for his or her self, community and country.
ISSN: 1721-4441
Appears in Collections:FID - Journal Articles (DHET subsidised)
Dr. Corrie Uys

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