Western Cape premier Helen Zille delivered her “State of the Province Address 2014” last week, highlighting that the South African State Information Technology Agency (SITA) has significantly delayed their broadband project in the province.
In her address Zille said that the Western Cape government has committed to connecting the Western Cape to affordable, high speed broadband. “We have set clear targets for the roll-out of our broadband project,” said Zille.
“However, when we advertised for companies to tender for the design, provision and management of the broadband network in 2012, we were told by the South African Information Technology Agency (SITA) that we were contravening the SITA Act, and that the tender had to be awarded by them,” said Zille.
“We were required to cancel our procurement process and requested SITA to manage the tender for a broadband network service on our behalf.”
Zille said that they were still waiting for this process to be finalised, which has significantly delayed the broadband project and threatened the delivery targets they have set.
“We are currently seeking legal advice on the constitutionality of the SITA Act,” said Zille.
“And just this past week, it has emerged that another province may have been allowed, by the relevant minister, to circumvent this constraining legislation, while we were forced to comply. I have written to the Minister seeking clarity as a matter of urgency,” she added.