A report in the Sunday Independent alleged that Limpopo’s broadband project “hangs in the balance as the consortium of companies appointed to lead it squabbles over money”.
The project is aimed at “establishing an open access, shared, secure, affordable next-generation broadband transmission carrier network infrastructure for the province”.
The report stated that Altech “reneged on the initial agreement that would have seen six SMMEs getting 33% of the pie amounting to R192 million”.
It added that the project’s problems started when “Altech, which was the project leader, added five other companies that were not part of the initial bid”.
Zipporah Maubane, Altron Group Executive Marketing, denied that it reneged on the Limpopo broadband agreement.
Maubane said the broadband project spans a three-year period and is currently at the hardware and software deployment phase.
This phase covers the purchase of OEM (original equipment manufacturer), OSS (operational support system), and BSS (billing support system) equipment.
“The equipment was imported and installed by the stipulated OEMs and contractors. As a result, Altech Alcom Matomo has billed Limpopo Connexion for equipment ordered, installed, and commissioned,” said Maubane.
Of the contract, 33% will be subcontracted to SMMEs as specified in the tender response and the main agreement.
“SMMEs outlined in the contract will be engaged once the build phase of the fibre rollout commences, which includes construction, maintenance, and various managed services,” Maubane told MyBroadband.
“The build portion of the physical fibre rollout is yet to commence.”
Maubane added that allegations they added five other companies – reported as “silent partners” – are unfounded.
“Altech Alcom Matomo remains committed to the completion of the Limpopo Broadband Project per the contract requirements,” said Maubane.
Tags: Africa, South Africa, Telecom News