Rural SA is not generally top of mind when it comes to matters of technological innovation and digital advancement. But an increasing level of connectivity in the more remote parts of the country brings with it new opportunities for economically marginalised communities — and the broader economy too. "There is a proven link between increased internet access and economic growth," says Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy, checked referring to a 2016 World Bank study that which found that a 10 percentage point increase in fixed broadband penetration could boost the GDP of a developing economy by 1.38%. Local companies are already taking advantage of digital innovation and the age of the "internet of things" in rural areas. Durban-based Cattle Watch, for example, fits livestock with collars or ear tags, allowing owners to monitor their herds in real time. It took Zolani Gwiliza and his co-director, Mark Mongameli Ngwenya, seven years of self-funded research to get the platform off the gr...

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