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Joburg’s ICT division placed under care of finance MMC

City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has placed the city’s ICT division under what he calls the capable stewardship of MMC of Finance Rabelani Dagada. Mashaba said in order for the new administration to keep to its promises and fast track service delivery, it was vital “that we ensure that the management of critical services are placed within the care of competent leadership”. This was in addition to Dagada’s continuing efforts to turn around the City’s billing crisis, he said.

“MMC Dagada is a highly qualified professional and holds several qualification in the field of ICT and as such has successfully implemented various ICT projects. These include Enterprise Resources Planning Systems, Records Management Systems and Wireless Broadband Network.

“I believe that the move of the City’s ICT division to the Finance Department will go a long way to fast tracking our investigation into the inexplicable R1.3 billion acquisition of the 900km broadband network in 2015, under the previous administration.

“This 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, ” Mashaba said.

The aim of the Johannesburg Broadband Network Project, he said, 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 realized, necessitating a thorough investigation into this project. The tender for the construction of a broadband network and ICT infrastructure was originally awarded on 19 December 2008 to a consortium. On the 31st of July 2014, the City terminated the agreement so as to operate the network itself through the MTC.

On commencing operations on the 30th of September 2015, the MTC ended the 2015/16 financial year with a net loss of R54-million, Mashaba said.

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.

“These astronomical losses made in the running of this project are yet again an indictment on financial mismanagement of the City under the previous administration and must be fully investigated.

“I have every confidence that MMC Dagada will take the City’s ICT division into an enhanced tool for driving service delivery.”

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