No additional security for public wi-fi hotspots despite increase in crime

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply concerned that currently no Memorandum of Outstanding (MOU) exists between the Department of e-Government and Community Safety to ensure the safety of residents who may be using the free government wi-fi hotspots in Gauteng.

This information was revealed in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to the MEC for Finance and e-Government, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko. It is worrying that no new additional security measures are being put in place, given the increase in crime around wi-fi hotspots.

Currently the Department of e-Government provides connectivity to 1181 provincial government sites and in response to the public need for access to wi-fi, the department has provided hotspots on the Gauteng Broadband Network to 21 public wi-fi hotspots in the province.

According to the MEC, all the wi-fi hotspots are housed in government-owned or rented buildings. This makes the security in these buildings the competency of the end user department.

The MEC has however undertaken that the department will be engaging the Department of Community Safety to embark on a campaign to make the public aware about the local call centre and the South African Police Service (SAPS) numbers to assist in managing the safety of users.

The DA will be closely monitoring this campaign and its effectiveness.