23 October City rolls out free Wi-Fi October 23, 2017 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 Buffalo City Metro has rolled out over 20 free Wi-Fi hotspots in public places around the City as a pilot project. Access points have been installed around the CBD, Libraries and Civic Centres across the Metro with access initially restricted to Buffalo City employees, but citizens will also soon enjoy free Wi-Fi as the City is in the process of activating public access. BCMM ICT Manager Jongikhaya Stuurman said, “Controllers of the access points are currently being programmed to create a separate public access to the network for public Wi-Fi.” He added that four public outdoor access points have already been activated in Duncan Village Redevelopment Initiative (DVRI) by the Community Hall, Steers in Oxford Street, Cnr of Amalinda Main Road by Clarendon High School and Buffalo City College. The remaining 18 public outdoor points will be activated by end October 2017. The hotspots will include among others the East London City Hall, Trust Centre, John Forbes Pharmacy, BP Garage, Bhisho and King William’s Town. Stuurman said the public will benefit from having access to free internet as it will increase access to job opportunities and information as well as decrease the digital divide. The City’s network will provide the public with 250MB of data per day at a connection speed of 2MB to 4MB per second. There will be a once-off registration required where a cell number will be authenticated for security purposes. Related Free Wi-Fi for Mdantsane residents As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme MBSA will be rolling out free ad-funded Wi-fi in Mdantsane as part of its partnership and already signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Metro. Speaking broadly about the project, MBSA spokesperson Asanda Fongqo said, “The rationale behind choosing Mdantsane is that the majority of our employees reside there, approximately 70 percent of our employees are from Mdantsane.” “The project is however not only targeting our employees but the broader community. We have already identified five sites where we initially be installing Wi-Fi points.” “We plan to implement this initiative on a phased approach, with the first phase (pilot phase) starting with five sites that include, Kuyasa Shopping Centre, Mdantsane Park at Highway Taxi Rank, one primary school which is currently supported by MBSA two butcheries,” added Fongqo. Each of the installations will cover a 350-meter radius. Adding to that, Head of Directorate for Economic Development and Agencies Noludwe Ncokazi said, “This is great for the relationship that we already have with MBSA, the Metro is going be part of a project that will bring change to many citizens of this City. BCMM will also be granted a dashboard report to monitor the usage of the Wi-Fi for our own planning purposes.” According to Fonqo, MBSA has appointed View4Mahala as their service provider and implementing agent who has advised that this platform will be paid for through advertising. “View4Mahala also confirmed that they will not be using the City’s network but will install their network points in the strategic locations. The agent will have a four-to-eight technical response period for faults that are reported and also assist in the monitoring as they have paid for the time slots.” According to a Municipal Report, the service provider will not be storing the details of the users but will keep generic statistics to generate a dashboard for advertisers and this is one of the features the MBSA has committed to consider in the process. Each user will get up to 15MB with restrictions such as blocked access to pornography sites among other restricted internet platforms. MBSA team is expected from mid-February to install the Wi-fi points and they anticipate that everything will start rolling out early in March 2018. Electricity Smart Meter Technology This process will kick off with the industrial and commercial sections as the first phase and later in the project the domestic billing will kick off as phase two. This project includes the electricity meter audit, changing the old meters to the new smart meters. “We have picked up that many businesses in this City, in fact over 100, are using old meter systems that are outdated and ultimately cost their bottom line,” Ngwenya. The City is aiming at replacing at least 200 industrial and commercial sites as part of the pilot phase to be implemented in the 2017/ 2018 financial year. Thereafter the program will be rolled out to the masses. This is a transversal contact (RT 15/2016) done by BCMM and is supported by the National Treasury. Th primary benefits of the project for the consumer includes accurate billing, better monitoring of electricity consumption through a Mobile App and completeness of monthly billing. A Mobile App (SmartWire) has been developed for consumers to monitor their electricity consumption. The App gives the consumer to view their electricity consumption in a 30-minute interval. In the later stage the City will have a USSD for easy access to consumers with queries. The City also has a control room (Intelligence Operating Centre) which is situated at the Munnifin building 3rd floor to deal with the roll out and implementation. At least R59 000 will be spent in changing the old meters to the new smart system in the first phase. For more information on the kindly email the Project Manager Office on Smart_Metering_Query@buffalocity.gov.za “We are tightening the screws and ensuring that the City is innovative, connected and productive in its approach to service delivery. In October we introduced an advanced prepaid vending system which enabled people to buy electricity in the luxury of their comfort and increased many vending areas. “Now this platform is meant to supplement that and all these efforts that we are putting together to enable people to monitor their consumption, budget properly and ultimately be able to pay for services easily,” Ngwenya. Buffalo City to host Proteas and Chippa matches So much so that as a City, we are not only predicting victories for both teams but also a full capacity crowds to live up to our reputation as South Africa’s “capital of fun” and a “sports destination of choice”. The Chilli Boys, as the football side is known, are returning to Buffalo City for the first time this season at their hunting ground the Sisa Dukashe Stadium following their win against Kaizer Chiefs in the Premiers Cup in August. Chippa will be hosting a wounded Cape Town City side who are coming from two defeats. Elsewhere in the City, the high flying Proteas will be hosting Bangladesh at the Buffalo Park Stadium on Sunday at 10 am. The Proteas lead the ODI series by two nil after winning their first game by 10 wickets and the second game by 104 runs. The Buffalo City local organising committee has indicated that the City is ready and it is all systems go for the weekend games. The LOC has been sitting with other safety organs of state planning to deliver incident free events that are of international standard. Our security clusters include our disaster, traffic and law enforcement and these have submitted their plans and necessary certificates which have been approved. For the Chippa, game tickets are still available at Ticketpro for R40 adults and R20 for children. We advise people that do not have tickets not come close to the stadium precinct as security will be on high alert and we warn perpetrators who are dealing with counterfeit tickets that they will face the full might of the law. The Sisa Dukashe Stadium will open at 12h30 and with curtain raiser matches. The Chippa/CT City game will kick-off at 15h30. For the Proteas game, Tickets for the Proteas game are available through Ticketpro and at the Buffalo Park ticket office with cost raging from R80 to R350.Road closure for Proteas and Bangladesh. Road Closures: Proteas Game • Buffalo Park Drive at Commercial Road • Buffalo Park Drive at John Baillie Road • Buffalo Park Drive at the Entrance to the Old Craven park • Buffalo Park Drive at the Main Gate Lane Closure • John Baillie Road will be converted into a one-way Traffic from Buffalo Park Drive towards Link Road. Alternative Parking will be made available at Commercial Road and Buffalo Park Drive (close to Fitzpatrick Road) Chippa game Streets in and around NU 2 Mdantsane and general parking will be available at the Orlando stadium. MGDS vision to bolster the City The purpose of the day was for the City representatives and external stakeholders to interact, represent community needs and priorities to be achieved by 2030. Speaking at the meeting Executive Mayor for Buffalo City Metro Alfred Mtsi said, “I want to see space created for the many super talented Metro citizens who have good ideas on how to save the future of the city.” The City’s MGDS Coordinator Abongile Dlani listed five strategic outcomes to be achieved in the next five years that include: · Creating an innovative and productive city with rapid and inclusive economic growth and falling unemployment; · A green, clean and healthy city of subtropical gardens that makes the best of its natural assets; · A connected city with cheap, high quality connections to information and communications technology (ICT) and · A well governed city and a spatially integrated city. Dlani presented the Metro’s MGDS overview which puts officials to work building business confidence by supporting thriving sectors which in turn would lead to more growth and jobs. The over view calls for quick decision making when dealing with investors and most importantly for the Metro to release land for development and economic growth. Acting General Manager of the IDP and Performance Management System Nozuko Frans highlighted priority issues and challenges the Metro needs to focus on. “BCM has prioritised finding houses for the disabled and people who have been on the housing list for more than 20 years, meeting requests for toilets, water supply, fixing faulty electrical poles, upgrading and maintaining sports fields, regularly collecting refuse, building new storm drains and maintaining existing drains.” The outcomes of the summit have been adopted by Council at the executive mayoral lekgotla that was held on November 16 t0 18 and that they should reflect in the new Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The meeting also comprised of three clusters that include Institutional and finance that covers communication, By-laws, Public participation, budgeting, special programmes, disabled, elderly and youth. Economic development for SMMEs, agriculture, tourism, safety, disaster, fire and rescue services, environmental health and township economy. Infrastructure and Spatial that include water, electricity, roads, sanitation, spatial planning, human settlements, urban generation and transportation. The socio- economic cluster which is led by BCMM Executive Mayor called for linkages to rural development with manufacturing plants to supply the rural areas. The forum called for the establishment of an investment council and the revival of the metro agricultural forum. Electricity Indaba hosted by the Metro According to a Metro’s press statement Municipal Report the Indaba aims to give various role players in the electricity sector to discuss and inform all of the impact and cost of illegal implications as well as the occupational health impact the illegal connections have on the people and electrical infrastructure of the Metro. The Electricity Indaba also discussed the alternative energy systems that the City is already using and future plans. Some of the topics that were discussed include legal implications, the effect that illegal connections impact on the community and electricity losses. Speaking about the purpose of the day Portfolio Head for Infrastructure Services Mteteleli Sam said, “The purpose of this session is to discuss and debate issues that affect a large portion of our population, which is the issue of illegal connections. “Illegal connections do not only affect BCMM as an institution but it deals with the day to day impact on the Metro’s ability to provide an effective service to all, as electricity and energy affect the day to day lives of the citizens of the Metro.” He added that illegal connections affect the Metro’s budget as funding is spent to replace and repair networks that are damaged, on a more social level they have also resulted in the identified deaths of at least 47 BCMM residents, some of which have been innocent by standers of this illegal act. Some of the stakeholders that were there include, SAPS, Southern African Revenue Protection Association (SARPA), Eskom (Operation Khanyisa Program) the Department of Energy, the Department of Labour and Border Kei Chamber of Business. Speaking about the Metro’s electricity and energy status quo Acting HOD for Engineering Services Luyanda Mbula said, “The electricity department intends to continue with its capitalisation program. The department completed a major project in June 2015 with the 80 MVA Queenspark Zoo substation coming in line, this has improved supply to the CBD and also ensures additional capacity for RDP Electrification.” “We have completed over 200 projects in the last three years to upgrading, refurbishing and renewing cables, transformers, switch gear, mini substation and switch houses.” “We work hand in hand with the Department of Energy, we apply for funding based on information we receive from the Department of Human Settlement, at the moment the back log that we have for electrification of formal houses is at 2500 housing un-electrified houses,” adds Mbula. He added that the department has a severe shortage of skilled labour, the plant, vehicles and equipment need to be replaced, aging infrastructure that needs to be replaced, and theft of copper and vandalism of equipment. The session ended with lively debates that included possible short, mid and long term solutions and have programmed way forward to address the electrical and energy challenges within the Metro and surrounding areas. New CCTV cameras to curb crime in the City Speaking at the event Pakati said, “Public safety is one of the priorities we have identified. We are launching CCTV cameras that will monitor our CBD, the Esplanade as well as Duncan Village at this point, but we are working to ensure that cameras in other areas are working as well.” “Working together with the South African Police Services (SAPS), this is one of the initiatives that are meant to curb crime in the city, in particular the CBD,” he said. The City officials together with the Executive Mayor took a walkabout to the CCTV cameras Control Room and was shown how the cameras operate at the control room at the Fire Station. The cameras which were at a cost of R1.8 million were installed and were instrumental in curbing crimes around the beachfront Esplanade area during the festive season. “We as the municipality are determined to work with everyone involved in the fight against crime in our Metro. Our quest is to ensure that we have CCTV that are monitoring everything that is going on in the city working together with the SAPS with the intention of identifying those who break the law,” he added. “We want a City free of crime, people must be able to walk about freely without the worry of getting robbed. As we are unable to have a police officer on every street, this technology will assist us in monitoring our city and identify criminals.” Welcoming the new officers, Pakati said, “We are proud to welcome the new law enforcement officers to the Metro. I am certain that you will hold up the law to the best of your ability.” According to Pakati the new officers will help in keeping the City safe as well as protecting the laws. “As we celebrate youth month, may these young men and women be a good example to our youth that through hard work and determination one can achieve their goals.” The day ended with another walkabout to the newly revamped car pound in Gonubie. The pound is used to keep abandoned vehicles and was renovated by fencing, electrication of the fence, security lights at a cost of R280 000. Comments are closed.