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SITA cracks whip on Gauteng Broadband Network project

Staff Writer's picture

This article was originally published on ITWeb Read more at source.

Altron Nexus on Tuesday paid a group of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contracted to work on the second phase of the Gauteng Broadband Network (GBN).

This follows a report by ITWeb that the implementation of the multibillion-rand project risked extended delays, with fresh allegations of corruption and non-compliance raised by the SME service providers.

At the time, the group of SMEs made damning allegations of maladministration, greed and nepotism, and said the laws and regulations that govern the project had been deliberately contravened. This prompted the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to demand answers from Altron Nexus, previously known as Altech Alcom Matomo.

Altech Alcom Matomo was awarded phase one of the GBN project, valued at R1.2 billion in 2013, for the building of a core network and connection of 450 sites. The tender for phase two of the GBN was also awarded to Altech Alcom Matomo in 2018, at a contract value of R2.8 billion.

Some of the key demands of the GBN contract are that 40% of work should be awarded to Gauteng-based small businesses in the five regions of the province: the City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, West Rand and Sedibeng.

The SMEs claim this was not done and they were sidelined from the project. Meanwhile, those that were lucky to be contracted weren’t paid, despite Altron Nexus having been paid.

The group of SMEs also said Altron Nexus had misrepresented the number of small businesses working on the project, claiming 47 had been contracted but in fact only seven had actually been working on the project. Of the seven, only four had been paid for their services rendered to the GBN project.

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