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GHI Joined forces with What3Words

what3words is a global addressing system based on a grid of 57 trillion 3mx3m squares. Each square has been allocated a unique, fixed 3 word address. The algorithm turns latitude and longitude coordinate pairs into these 3 words and vice-versa.

As a result of apartheid, for many in South Africa, having an address has a social status, providing a sense of identity and of being recognized as a proper citizen.  

An address is used to facilitate the delivery of one or more services by one or more providers. Service delivery includes anything from utility services such as water, sewerage, telecommunications and electricity supply; refuse collection; billing; postal and courier delivery; to emergency response; goods delivery; serving summonses; household surveys; and visiting.

Addresses are also critical for services that are not necessarily performed at the address, such as opening bank accounts or buying on credit [as is required by the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA); obtaining an identity document or passport (as required by the Identification Act); voting (the Electoral Act requires one to have an identity document to be registered as a voter); obtaining employment (as illustrated by the tragic example of Kabelo Thibedi, who held hostage an employee of the Department of Home Affairs in Johannesburg on 30 November 2005, because he had been waiting for two years for his identity document, without which he could not get employment); and for rates and taxes.

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