I have spoken about making millions and billions from the beneficiaries from SASSA grants before. Here is one of the major beneficiaries of that (to the tune of R5 per person per day).

The township WiFi business brings affordable WiFi to the townships often in the form of R5 daily vouches. It capitalizes on the dense nature of townships where many people live close enough that they can share a connection point or “hotspot”. It is a major beneficiary of SASSA handouts, but what is most comical about this business is that it is mainly run by white people, often out of Stellenbosch. Yes, black people are paying white people to sit on Twitter and complain about white people and Stellenbosch the whole day. I guess the money comes full circle when you look at who pays most of the taxes – the origin of SASSA money.

Let me tell you a joke: South Africa

Target Market
The main target market is beneficiaries of SASSA’s R350 social relief distress grant or chill-out grant like I call it. If you remember the formulation minister Bathabile Dlamini used to come out at R350: six-pack Carling Black Labels, chicken braai pack and your R5 a day Twitter Wifi voucher.

Business model
This business model is really simple. Many people share the same wifi connection (I’ll discuss the infrastructure next), without contracts or signups, they just buy a voucher.  Now people don’t get a service level agreement or anything or guaranteed speeds. So many people can share the infrastructure. With the average shack size around 3×3 meters if you can extend the range you can get hundreds of people sharing the same connection point. Imagine that ten people sharing a month and it’s R1500 (R5 x 30 x 10) now imagine hundreds on a single hotspot and these guys like to disguise themselves as charities. If you remember after Alan Knott-Craig (jnr) ran the beloved Mxit into the ground, he wrote some nonsense book telling us not to panic. Then he started Isizwe a “non profit” (check the directors salary and get back to me) township WiFi provider ostensibly to help little black children with their homework and entrepreneurs with their business. But that is a lie, there is no work and no business in SA, it’s just palliative. The calculation is:
If you going to waste your life, you might as well talk about Bonang and Boity while doing it.

But Rain’s unlimited package is twice the price of the SASSA unemployment grant. And that is where the township wifi enters.

Selling browsing info (another source of revenue)
We know that around 100% of people that use township wifi sit on Twitter the whole day.  Twitter is not only used as a barometer of society but it has also gives us insights about what is inside people’s brains. Not much apparently. But that don’t mean that it is not worth anything. Anonymized data can be sold to corporations like UZZI (how many times cash-in-transit robbers mention their clothing) or how many times people in the location mention “Carvela” so the shoemaker can anticipate demand and evil organizations like Open Society Foundations and the World Economic Forum. Soros, Klaus Schwab would love to know what “ChrisExcel” and “Man’s NOT Barry Roux” followers are thinking. That I am sure of.

Infrastructure
Most of the players have built their own wireless infrastructure, so you can’t just use a consumer connection and share the wifi. Now community wifi is not a new concept, we had in many years ago in in Cape Town – the last bastion of civilization in SA. There are also networks ideas like Helium that can be followed.