The Limpopo government has approved a self-funding model for the phased roll out of broadband in the province after a feasibility study was presented this week. Briefing the media after a provincial executive council meeting this week, Limpopo government spokesperson Phuti Seloba said a tender would be advertised to fast track the process.
He said the government instructed the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA) to provide a detailed financial breakdown of the preferred funding option to the Provincial Treasury. However, it committed to raising funds for the implementations phase.
“In terms of the preferred option, Limpopo Provincial Government through Leda will be required to rise co-funding and deploy the network infrastructure on phased approach, starting with the City of Polokwane,” Seloba said.
He said the government would explore funding options to ensure the roll out of Broadband Network Infrastructure in the City of Polokwane, including Mankweng and Seshego Townships, through a competitive bid.
Seloba said the provincial government had also ordered Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Makoma Makhurupetje to ensure that the troubled Vuwani area was re-incorporated back in the
Makhado Municipality. “We have also directed that the MEC for CoGHSTA should write to the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) and request for invocation of section 22 (1) of the Municipal Demarcation Act on behalf of the province,” he added.
He said this was part of a plan to re-determine the municipal boundaries of newly created Malamulele Municipality, which included Vuwani. Vuwani has been under spotlight since April after the community went on the rampage over the Municipal Demarcation Board’s decision to incorporate their area into Malamulele.
They burned more than 24 schools, shut down the area and boycotted the August 3 local government elections. They also barricaded roads with burning tyres and stones for weeks demanding the reversal of the MDB’s decision.
President Jacob Zuma was forced to deploy the army to guard the polls after protesters threatened violence against those who wanted to exercise their right to vote.
Seloba said the government planned to spend more than R300 million on the refurbishment of damaged public infrastructure in the area.
“The Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure have done damage assessment on the affected schools and have calculated the total amount required for emergency and reconstruction and rehabilitation of educational infrastructure in Vuwani and the surrounding villages be R303 101 900 million,” said Seloba.
At least 76 mobile class rooms have been delivered at a cost of R22 million, he added. Seloba said support stuff has been seconded to the new municipality and the process to name it was underway.
He dismissed claims that the council has been named after former Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane as premature, saying consultations had yet to be conducted.