The City of Tshwane has appointed a new service provider to take over the free Wi-Fi service following “mischievous” rumours that the project would be canned.
Ulwembu Business Services (Pty) Limited took over the contract on August 1 after the contract with the previous service provider, Project Isizwe, came to an end in June.
The latter’s contract was, however, extended for six months to allow the city time to establish a new financial model and secure a new service provider.
Despite rumours of a cancellation of the service, the city allocated R88.5 million in the current financial year to provide the “basic service” to communities across the city, with the new service provider already assessing the current network, city spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said.
“This appointment disproves mischievous rumours that have been doing the rounds that the city has canned its free Wi-Fi project,” he said.
“The newly appointed service provider has already started with the assessment of the current network and assets in order to provide an intensive implementation and maintenance plan.”
Last month, the Congress of SA Students slammed the city for undermining students, claiming the city had planned to switch off the service.
This was after the Wi-Fi users complained about technical glitches and failing to access the service at various hotspots, which the city attended to. Mashigo said the city and Ulwembu Business Services had begun assessing infrastructure, high sites and hotspots to address operational challenges.
Prior to the relaunch on September 3, the city will address the setting up of a call centre; a new portal; daily
data cap review per device; a new look on social media platforms; and a new logo and emblem.
“The city views the provision of free Wi-Fi as a basic service … we moved expeditiously to finalise the appointment of a new service provider … ,” he said.
“We wish to apologise for the network glitches experienced after the expiry of the Project Isizwe contract.”