30 June 2023 - NW2155
Majozi, Ms Z to ask the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies
Considering that in his Budget Vote speech in 2023 he reiterated that the aim of his department is to enhance connectivity to government facilities such as schools, health facilities and government offices with high-speed internet access which would, in turn, enable them to serve as connectivity hubs for their users and surrounding communities, and noting that he committed to connecting 1,7 million households with broadband connectivity by the end of the 2023-24 financial year, what (a) progress has been made in fulfilling the specified aim since his commitment and (b) total number of households have been connected with broadband connectivity to date?
a) The commitment aims to enable 1.7 million households to access internet services by expanding infrastructure, which will be utilized by partnering Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide metered internet services.
• The deployment of infrastructure to provide access has not yet commenced. In May 2023, the Treasury confirmed accessibility to the allocated funds, and the process to finalize the disbursement of funds has begun.
• Currently, the appointment of professional service providers for detailed network designs is underway. These designs will facilitate households in accessing broadband services through public Wi-Fi.
• Negotiations with third-party site owners who possess locations where BBI intends to share the infrastructure are currently underway. Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) are still being negotiated, and drafts are circulating with continuous engagement with servitude owners to familiarize them with the project.
• Appointment of equipment suppliers, installers (SMMEs) to facilitate infrastructure roll-out is underway, in addition, engagements are underway with ISPs/ WISPs/ MVNOs to gather requirements.
• The development of the commercial model for partnerships with ISPs is underway.
a) Total number of households connected with broadband connectivity to date?
There are no households that have been provided access to internet access to date.