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SALGA congratulates Nelson Mandela Bay municipality for newly launched Free – Wi-fi Broadband

Posted: 03 June 2016


SALGA wishes to congratulate the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan for its innovative broadband project which promises to offer the biggest Wi-fi coverage on the African continent for residents of Port Elizabeth.

The launch of the Phase 1 of the Energy Efficiency High Mast Lighting Retrofit and Management and Smart Grid Communication Project on Tuesday, 31 May 2016, at Walmer High School, Walmer Township, Port Elizabeth (first site) also has a potential to create safer communities with its CCTV camera capabilities and bring about immediate increase in service delivery.

SALGA is encouraged that municipalities are going beyond the call of duty to create innovate solutions to build strong and resilient economies driven by technology. One way of doing this is making broadband accessible and helping local government to excel in service delivery through social innovation, finding innovative solutions to social problems.

The public private partnership between Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and Spectrum Utility Management is a commendable because it proves that when business community and government work hand in hand, communities stand to gain more.

The Wi-fi rollout has gained momentum over the last few years, notably eThekwini, City of Cape Town, City of Joburg and City of Tshwane. The Nelson Mandela Bay metro is now a new kid on the block with its launch.

In eThekwini, it was being rolled out along two main arterial roads frequented by tourists. There are plans to scale it out. In the City of Cape Town, a 2012 feasibility assessment was done and the Wi-fi was rolled out to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha. The original project placed free internet in public libraries and on bus routes. Its objective was to improve service delivery. It is now becoming a public expectation for government to offer access to broadband as a package of service delivery.

In the City of Joburg, the Rea Vaya stations all have free Wi-fi while the whole of Braamfontein just got covered at the end of last year. Private residents installed Wi-fi in Parkhurst to assist fight crime. In the City of Tshwane, Wi-fi was rolled out in 2013.

SALGA calls for all South Africans to cherish the infrastructure which local government is building to change lives. SALGA further calls for communities to work with municipalities to ensure that facilities are looked after and that they are being used appropriately. Vandalism and destruction of infrastructure deprives communities of services that can better their lives.

Communities must stand together and protect their infrastructure and facilities.



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