The City of Joburg will spend R385 million on its free public WiFi service, according to finance MMC Rabelani Dagada.

Dagada gave his maiden budget speech at the Joburg Council Chambers in Braamfontein yesterday, focusing mainly on interventions the city will be making towards the city’s poorest residents.

The total 2017/18 budget stands at R55.9 billion.

The Metropolitan Trading Company which runs the broadband business of the city was allocated the operating budget and has been allocated with R88 million over the medium term for continued investment in the capital infrastructure.

“Our investment is to preserve the value of the broadband fibre as we continue to drive increased access to broadband services, especially to poor residents in the form of expanded access to free WiFi,” Dagada said.

Other important entities such as City Power and Joburg Water received massive budgetary allocations.

City Power received an operating budget of R15.5 Billion and Joburg Water is allocated an operating budget of R9.6 Billion.

Of these allocations, R162.7 million is to be allocated to providing electricity and water connections to poor residents in informal settlements throughout the city.

The City of Cape Town allocated R260 million to its own WiFi service, while Tshwane did not specify how much its TshWiFi would get.