A Rural Multi-Purpose Community Centre in South Africa

A Rural Multi-Purpose Community Centre in South Africa

Jonathan Trusler (University of Cape Town, South Africa) and Jean-Paul Van Belle (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-575-7.ch110
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Abstract

There is an increasing focus on the growing disparity between the involvement of developed and developing societies in the new “information age.” ICT are often seen as being the critical link to bridge this gap (Chapman, 2002). An ICT initiative that has been receiving increasing attention is that of the telecentre, and the related concept of the Multi-Purpose Community Centre (MPCC). The South African government is strongly promoting the diffusion of these MPCCs throughout the country, particularly in rural areas. An MPCC is specific type of telecentre, or “physical space that provides public access to ICTs for educational, personal, social, and economic development” (Gomez et al., 1999). The authors define an MPCC as a “telecentre which has a political motivation to aid in the upliftment of a disadvantaged group.” However, successful MPCC initiatives are still few and far between. As Benjamin (2001) notes, “while there is much talk in international conferences of them, there are not many successful [telecentres] in developing countries.” The reasons for the failure of many of these initiatives are still not clear, despite a number of research efforts (Avgerou, 1998; Montealegre, 1999; Moyo, 1996).

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