Premier David Makhura has reiterated that in the next three years, the Gauteng Broadband Network will have covered all cities, towns and regions within the province.

“The vision of a smart province and revitalisation of our economy and public services is taking shape in Gauteng. Broadband connectivity is growing faster, covering all parts of our city region,” Makhura said in his State of the Province Address (#GautengSOPA).

“Through our partnership with the municipalities and the private sector, we will reach our goal of 100% connectivity by 2019,” he went on.

Makhura said the provincial government has already connected ten core sites and 368 local sites that are fully operational, out of a target of 400, for the 2015/16 financial year.

The premier also commended the City of Tshwane and Project Isizwe for connecting over 700 WiFi hotspots, reaching one million unique users in the metro since inception in 2013 and winning the Best Connectivity Solution for Africa award at the AfricaCom conference last year.

“In order to ensure integration, coordination and coherence across the Gauteng city region, we recently established the Gauteng Department of e-Government which will drive our modernisation agenda,” Makhura said.

Makhura also reiterated the province’s commitment to locally manufacturing ICT products, components and the development of new apps within the city region.

The building of ICT hubs and science and tech parks in all Gauteng’s corridors also falls under this commitment.

The budget for the Gauteng Broadband Network distribution was set at R1.2 billion over four years starting in 2015 with a plan to cover all government buildings, Thusong Centres, urban renewal zones and targeted economic zones.