Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Frans Van Der Westhuizen has commended BoFINet for providing diligent oversight and supervision in ensuring the completion of the Tsabong-Two Rivers route Optic Fibre backbone expansion project.
He also commended the contractor, Cletem/Teletechnics Joint Venture for the timely execution of the project and adherence to the quality standards and specifications in delivering the project.
Mr Van Der Westhuizen said this at the hand over ceremony of the Tsabong-Two Rivers route backbone expansion project in Bokspits recently.
He said that ‘the National Fibre Backbone Infrastructure is not only meant to ensure increased access to broadband in the country, but will leverage the country’s global competitiveness and positioning as a prime destination for Foreign Direct Investment, while scaling up the country’s already pristine attractiveness as a tourist destination of choice both regionally and internationally.’
The assistant minister said this would in turn lead to increased economic growth and diversification as well as employment creation in the country.
However, he urged BoFiNet to work relentlessly in improving and modifying the country’s ICT infrastructure.
For his part, BoFiNet board member, Mr Gadzani Thangwane said it was encouraging to see projects such as these successfully executed.
He said the project formed part of the National Optic Fibre Backbone Expansion Project, which aims to take more services to more people.
“Projects such as these have continued to affirm our commitment to enhance and to improve the information, communications and technology sector through the provision of the state of the art infrastructure,” he said. He noted that the project was just one of the key projects that were undertaken by BoFiNet, saying that other infrastructure development included the expansion of the optic fibre cable from Gudigwa to Mohembo and also between Kachikau and Parakarungu.
“We have other projects which entail the reticulation of Fibre in the local loop in Gaborone, Serowe, Mogoditshane, Palapye, Selibe Phikwe and Lobatse.
These projects are all aimed at modernising our network, increasing our reach as well as improving broadband connectivity,” he added.
Mr Thangwane explained that the objective of the Tsabong-Two Rivers route backbone expansion project was to, amongst others, connect all the villages between Tsabong and Two Rivers to the national telecommunications network.
He said that the villages that were covered under this project included Maubelo, Kolonkwaneng, Bogogobo, Middlepits, Gakhibane, Rapplespan, Vaalhoek, Bokspits and Struizendam.
He pointed out that services would be added to those villages, leaving them with the capacity and capability to host high speed access network stations such as 3G and other wireless technologies.
Mr Thangwane explained that the scope of the project covered a distance of 310km.
Also, he said that it entailed surveying, planning, designing, installation and commissioning of the transport network in the route in order to establish connectivity of voice and data traffic to provide services in the respective villages.
He noted that several contractors were engaged to complete the project, namely Cletem/Teletechnics Joint Venture for civil and cable works, Solar West for energy systems being the batteries and rectifiers, Multicom Services for the shelters as well as Huawei for the active equipment.
He said that the number of contractors that saw the project through prove its complexity and how important it was to have a solid team led by an experienced project manager.
Mr Thangwane pointed out that managing and getting the best from all the stakeholders involved in the project was not an easy task.
Therefore, he congratulated the BoFiNet team, which he said included project management office, finance, procurement and many others who worked on ensuring this project was managed properly.
Furthermore, he applauded other stakeholders that were engaged during the project such as Department of Environmental Affairs, Department of Roads and Kgalagadi Land Board for their guidance and assistance.
He also acknowledged the government for its support, saying that without the financial assistance the project would not be possible.
Mr Thangwane said that as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, BoFiNet has connected Middlepits Primary School, Kgolagano Secondary School, Ikaneng Primary School in Maubelo and Bokspits Primary School. He said that the schools have been given 5Mbps each for a period of one year.
“Botswana Fibre Networks believes in leaving a sustainable legacy in locations where it has implemented its projects, as part of its CSR strategy. ENDS