Mokonyane mum on G-Link progress

Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane largely skimmed over her plans for broadband connectivity, in an otherwise detailed State of Gauteng Province Address on Monday (February 25).

This was also in stark contrast to the same period last year, where Mokonyane ran through, in detail, the province’s aim to achieve 95% broadband coverage.

The premier noted that the Gauteng province is home to 12.3 million people, becoming the province with the largest population, accounting for 24% of the national population in South Africa.

Gauteng also accounts for approximately 35% of the national economy, still higher than both the second and third placed contributors, KwaZulu-Natal (15.7%) and Western Cape (14.2%), combined.

“Broadband networks and access to high-speed internet have become an important determinant of country competitiveness, and as access to broadband continues to increase globally, it has become important to have access to this new digital economy,” the premier said.

“The Gauteng Broadband Network Link is the Gauteng initiative to fulfil this broadband requirement,” Mokonyane said.

In 2012, Mokonyane said that that its G-Link Project was central to its efforts to build a knowledge economy as a driver of development and make Gauteng a Smart Province.

“The project aims at achieving 95% broadband coverage in the province to narrow the digital divide, roll out e-government services and grow the economy. The work currently underway seeks to roll out network infrastructure between 2012 and 2014,” Mokonyane said.

On Monday, however, there was no progress update on this project.

However, Mokonyane said that its skills for industry programme will result in the training of 2,255 artisans and technicians up to 2016 in the automotive, ICT and other sectors.

Earlier this month, President Jacob Zuma also only glanced over the telecommunications services and broadband sector in delivering his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“Last year, the private and public sector laid about 7,000 new fibre optic cables. The plan is to achieve 100% broadband internet penetration by 2020,” he said, fleetingly.

More on G-Link

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Mokonyane mum on G-Link progress