The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has earmarked R250 million for the beginning of the first phase of its nationwide broadband rollout.

According to a Bloomberg report, Minister Siyabonga Cwele said his department will still approach private sector entities for additional financing to rack up around R62 billion, which is the department’s predicted overall cost.

“This is a top priority for the South African government,”Cwele told the newshouse. “The plan is to approach local and international development financing institutions and see what their appetite is in terms of funding the broadband internet roll-out in SA.”

In his State of the Nation Address this year, President Jacob Zuma announced that R740 million had been allocated to connecting over 8 000  government buildings in eight provinces over three years.

It’s not indicated how many buildings the R250 million will be used to connect and which municipalities its targeting, but construction is set to begin in three months time.

“Providing broadband internet on a national level to people will help us to stimulate growth and create jobs,” Mr Cwele said.

The eight municipalities selected for the first phase are:

  • Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality in the North West
  • Gert Sibande in Mpumalanga
  • O.R Tambo in the Eastern Cape
  • Pixley ka Seme in the Northern Cape
  • Thabo Mofutsanyane in the Free State
  • Umgungundlovu and Umzinyathi in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Vhembe in Limpopo
[Source – Bloomberg, image – CC Government ZA]