By Adriana Randall MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance:
The City of Tshwane (CoT) has incurred legal costs of R1.6 million in an attempt to prevent the rollout of much needed fibre optic broadband to the city’s residents and businesses.
In 2011 Link Africa, a digital solutions company, sought to install a fibre-optic network through the CoT by making use of the city’s existing sewer and storm water infrastructure.
City Manager, Jason Ngobeni, placed restrictions on Link Africa’s plans and last year sought and interdict from the Pretoria High Court requiring that the company gain permission to access the city’s infrastructure before carrying out work.
The interdict was not granted which led the CoT to challenge the matter in the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court ruled in favour of Link Africa forcing the city to concede.
The attempt to thwart a project that will have massive benefits for residents of Tshwane is beyond belief.
Over a R1 million in state funds have been wasted in the process – money which could have been more wisely spent on improving the lives of the city’s residents.
It is evident that the CoT does not place economic growth and opportunities high on its list of priorities.