Following Cape Town’s connectivity plans, the Gauteng Government has revealed details about their plans for implementing broadband across the province.

The Provincial Government’s first plan of action is to establish a 1,600km fibre network to connect all Provincial Government buildings, including regional satellite offices, all Thusong multipurpose community centres, as well as hospitals and schools.

Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy, said that: “The planning phase has been concluded and we are now in the process of rolling it out. The intention is to connect all Government offices with voice by the end of this financial year and then data in the next financial year. We also envisage the connectivity of schools, hospitals and clinics with broadband in 2016.”

The six core sites that will be connected to the province’s fibre broadband network are Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the provincial treasury, the Department of Finance, the West Rand District offices in Randfontein, the Teraco data centre in Isando and Telkom for the Government data centre.

The Provincial Government has also announced plans to strengthen financial management by setting up an electronic platform for open tender processes. “This will create transparency within Government to curb corruption and ensure suppliers are paid on time,” said Creecy.

“The Gauteng Department of Finance is mandated to bridge the digital divide. To this effect, the Gauteng broadband network has been identified as a key mechanism to bring about a connected Government,” added Creecy.

The Gauteng Government is currently spending R215 million annually on telecommunications services. The Gauteng broadband network is expected to yield savings of R162 million annually once it is fully rolled out.

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