The City of Cape Town has set aside R1.3 billion to build a fibre-optic network to enhance connectivity and set the foundation for the provision of eGovernance services.

The Provincial Government’s project will see broadband being provided to over 2,000 Government sites across the province, as well as broadband networks to clinics, schools and libraries. There will initially be 10Mbps speeds per site and later an upgrade to 100Mbps, 1Gbps and some at 10Gbps.

According to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) shadow deputy minister of public enterprises, Erik Marais, “the network will be available to licensed telecommunications service providers to ensure Internet connectivity and increase social benefits and economic benefits through better access.”

The project will take place over the next five to seven years and, according to Marais, will make the city “the most digitally connected in Africa”.

Neotel and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) have agreed to operate the network once it is in place.

The project is in line with the city’s economic growth strategy that outlines plans to provide high-speed Internet to 130 city buildings and 45 provincial government building.

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