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  • Writer's pictureMBF


 It has been brought to the attention of Mafube Business Forum (MBF) that residents of Frankfort have been approached by staff from a leading internet service provider (ISP) for permission to erect poles on their property for the new fibre optic internet network that’s coming to Mafube. Everyone, including MBF is excited and looking forward to having another reliable high speed internet provider in the near future, who also offers their product options at very competitive rates.

However, this is where the excitement ends. The process which was advertised by Advocate Lepheana, the illegally-appointed municipal manager of Mafube Local Municipality (MLM) as an "unsolicited bid", literally gives exclusive rights to a company from Vereeniging, to whom the bid was awarded in a very dubious manner, to operate the fibre network in Frankfort. This is done without due regard for MLM's own procurement policy and the provisions of the Municipal Finance Management Act. Objections from the community and a service provider that has been providing internet services to residents and businesses for a number of years, are simply ignored. Because MLM is currently managed under mandatory provincial intervention, Lepheana has no right to unilaterally make decisions that affect the community. The municipal Council was also side-lined in the matter.

King Paul Enterprise, the company who was awarded the bid for Frankfort, promised that 300 new jobs would be created, according to the notice that appeared in the Frankfort Herald on 4th August this year. Apart from being totally unrealistic and misleading, it creates expectations within the local community that cannot be met, and may have an undesirable outcome.

MBF are not pleased with the manner in which employees of internet service providers (ISPs) and/or agents of companies acting on their behalf, are attempting to obtain permission for the erecting of internet infrastructure on private property. Owners are told that "the area between the building line and boundary" is a servitude that MLM and ISPs have a right to. This is untrue - a servitude must be registered at the deeds office. Residents may certainly give their consent for ISPs to enter their property, but MBF are concerned that by signing the consent letter, residents give the ISP's sales team and the municipality the right to use and share their personal information with other parties.

MBF wrote to the ISP involved and several parties involved, and advised them that the project should be halted until a proper, fair and transparent process is in place, compliant with existing guidelines, policies and applicable legislation.

MBF invite residents, business owners and taxpayers to visit our offices at 18A Church Street, Frankfort on Mondays to Thursdays from 08h30 to 16h00 and Fridays 08h30 to 12h00. Call or send a WhatsApp message to Marina on 079 145 4295. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook.

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