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City of Joburg official suspended over misconduct 0

City of Joburg official suspended over misconduct

File picture: Matthews Baloyi/Independent Media Johannesburg – The City of Joburg has suspended an official from the Department of Economic Development over misconduct relating to contracts and payments linked to the Johannesburg Broadband Network Project made by the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC). According to mayor Herman Mashaba’s office, the official in question has already been implicated in an independent forensic investigation which recommends corrective action be taken. Mashaba’s office also said the man was believed to be deliberately frustrating an investigation into the City’s “seemingly inexplicable” R1.3 billion acquisition of the 900km broadband network in 2015. “His acquisition was done through MTC, a Municipal Owned Entity, which possessed no viable business plan nor had requisite capacity to run a broadband operation of this size.” “The suspended official refused to allow investigators access to a number of devices which are believed to contain crucial information relating to the investigation,” the City said.

The City has also obtained a court order to create mirror images of the man’s devices to preserve the information they contains with the hope that potential key evidence relating to this investigation is not destroyed. According to the city, the mirror imaging of the devices will be conducted by independent technology experts in the presence of the official and an independent supervising practising attorney appointed by the Court. “The aim of the Johannesburg Broadband Network Project was to provide access to broadband services which would improve the City’s service delivery, realise ICT cost related savings for the City and grant communities and businesses across Johannesburg affordable access to internet. Despite the astronomical cost, few of these benefits have been realised, necessitating a thorough investigation into this project.” The tender for the construction of a broadband network and ICT infrastructure was originally awarded on December 19 2008.  On July 31 2014, the City terminated the agreement so as to operate the network itself through the MTC.

On September 30 2015, the MTC ended the 2015/16 financial year with a net loss of R54 million.

Mashaba’s office said by February this year, MTC continued to function with no viable business plan.  In his most recent report, the Auditor General also found that the performance of MTC could not be assessed due to the lack of a viable business plan from the entity, they said. “As a City, we cannot allow officials to undermine our residents’ right to know how and why their hard earned money was used to create an inefficiently operated entity which has drained the City of resources needed for service delivery.” “The astronomical losses made in the administration of this project are yet again an indictment on financial management in the City and this cannot be allowed to continue.” The Star Like us on Facebook 1 Follow us on Twitter 2 References ^ Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com) ^ Follow us on Twitter (twitter.com)

Joburg suspends official involved in ‘inexplicable’ R1.3bn contract 0

Joburg suspends official involved in ‘inexplicable’ R1.3bn contract

Six rule changes for rugby’s scrums, rucks and tackles 1 World Rugby‚ the game’s governing body‚ will trial six new law amendments from August in an effort to simply the sport for players‚ fans‚ and most importantly‚ officials.

The amendments‚ which relate …

References ^ Six rule changes for rugby’s scrums, rucks and tackles (www.businesslive.co.za)

Fixed-line broadband next big monetisation opportunity for Reliance Jio: Mukesh Ambani 0

Fixed-line broadband next big monetisation opportunity for Reliance Jio: Mukesh Ambani

NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said that optical fibre and fixed line broadband is a next big monetisation opportunity for Reliance Jio. “Jio remains on track to bring optic fiber connectivity to enterprises, home and public place. Most infratstructure is already in place,” he said, adding that the company will inform shareholders on the progress. ET previously reported that Reliance Jio was working towards a commercial launch of its home broadband services around Diwali, with offers that are likely to stir up a price war similar to that the company’s entry triggered in the mobile segment.

Based on customer base, home broadband is a small market — the country has less than 20 million wireline broadband users, with state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam accounting for more than half of it, compared with 200 million users for wireless broadband. But the average user pays much more for fixed-line broadband. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, for instance, Bharti Airtel’s average revenue per user in the home broadband segment was Rs 1,064 against Rs 162 in the mobile data business.

The JioFiber network is capable to carry data speed up to 1 Gbps.

It is currently being rolled out in at least 10 large cities, including all metros, in addition to Delhi’s satellite towns of Noida and Gurgaon.

The company is identifying mega clusters such as high-rise residential apartments and commercial establishments as a part of its phase-II expansion programme to connect 100 locations by December.