Cape Town (South Africa) – On 26 August, World Design Capital® (WDC) project iKhaya le Langa (#WDC229) opened a space where the local community can use a library of devices – supported by Microsoft, Icsid World Design Partner® – which will empower and uplift the community of Langa, leaving a lasting legacy. Using a range of the company’s mobile devices and tablets, Microsoft will enable residents to access the Internet and connect to a number of new opportunities.

The precinct already features free Wi-Fi infrastructure, thanks to Connected Spaces through the Cape Town Partnership, and a coffee shop where the devices will be used and stored. Here they will be able to access business resources, educational support and programs, apply for jobs and more.

Above: ‘WDC and Microsoft Power Township Residents to Enter the Digital Age’ video

Residents will be taught how to use Microsoft devices, and the array of Microsoft software and services like Skype for video calls, Bing for search and OneDrive, the Microsoft cloud storage solution. This is in addition to the suite of leading Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. With iKhaya le Langa founder Tony Elvin’s vision to have each and every household within the precinct running some kind of small business, visitors will also be given courses on small business management.

According to Justin Maier, head of marketing for South East Africa at Microsoft Mobile Devices, “Instead of merely donating money or devices, we wanted to create a meaningful initiative that will have benefits for the local residents. With Wi-Fi hotspots available in township – but no means to fully make use of them – we saw this as the perfect opportunity to serve as an enabler for this community to be digitally empowered.”

Tony Elvin, a Social Enterprise Entrepreneur, says “We believe that through facilitating, enabling and encouraging a series of inter connected initiatives with the public, private, voluntary sectors and residents, the vicious cycle of poverty and social exclusion can be broken and replaced with a thriving, sustainable, cohesive community.”

For more information please contact:
Jenna van der Merwe
Eclipse Public Relations
t: 0861 325471, 021 686 0430

About World Design Capital® (WDC)

While there are many awards that recognise individual accomplishments in design, the World Design Capital designation is unique as it aims to focus on the broader essence of design’s impact on urban spaces, economies and citizens. The designation provides a distinctive opportunity for cities to feature their accomplishments in attracting and promoting innovative design, as well as highlight their successes in urban revitalisation strategies.

The World Design Capital is an initiative established and managed by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. Past cities to hold the title include Torino (Italy) in 2008, Seoul (South Korea) in 2010 and Helsinki (Finland) in 2012. Currently, Cape Town (South Africa) is holding the programme of events in 2014, whilst preparations for Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei) are underway for 2016.

About World Design Partner® Programme

The World Design Partner Programme (WDPP) is an important new initiative that was launched in 2012 as a means to identify new sources of revenue to meet the increasing growth of Icsid’s international programmes.

The programme is forming collaborative partnerships with a selected number of private sector partners with a strong commitment to design in general and industrial design in particular. Current WDPP members include: Microsoft, Nestlé (South Africa), Rado, BMW (South Africa).