City of Tshwane threatens staff suspension if foul play found over Link Africa fibre-optic project

Link Africa’s 2,000km fibre-optic telecommunications infrastructure project in Pretoria is being questioned by the City of Tshwane following claims due process was not followed.

The City of Tshwane has issued a statement attacking Link Africa, the fibre optic network provider which intends to embark on the five year 2,000km project, and said it had launched an “internal investigation”, threatening to suspend officials if any are found guilty of misconduct.

The threats have been made in response to a press release by Link Africa which claimed the company has received permission to run the fibre-optic infrastructure through the sewer and waste-water service networks of Pretoria.

However, in a statement released by the City of Tshwane’s Communications’ Marketing and Events Department, it said the city “has noted an online article by Link Africa regarding the deployment of a fibre optic network within the city’s existing sewer and waste-water service networks. At this stage the City of Tshwane would like to distance itself from this article and its contents.”

According to the City of Tshwane, due process was not followed and that it has “instituted an internal investigation into this project”. City manager Jason Ngobeni added that the result could see the “suspension of officials if found guilty of misconduct”.

The City’s statement added it “has developed and approved its own broadband strategy and, once ready for implementation, an open tender process will be followed”.

In response to the city’s statement, Link Africa told Tech Central they are “confident” the investigation carried out by the City of Tshwane will reveal that the company has, for the past 18 months, “been engaging with the city” and that “all necessary approvals were obtained and the company is happy to provide the city with the necessary approval documentation”.

Link Africa maintains that it has “engaged in a comprehensive consultative process with the city to ensure there is full alignment with the use of the company’s technology for the deployment of fibre-optic networks in existing underground municipal services networks”.

According to Link Africa, it has not received any formal and official notification from the City of Tshwane.

Posted in: Telecoms

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