Picture: THE TIMES
Picture: THE TIMES

Allied Electronics (Altron) said on Friday it had won a contract to roll out broadband infrastructure in Limpopo, the first phase of which was worth R585m.

The provincial government, via Limpopo Connexion, had appointed Altron’s Altech Radio Holdings (ARH) unit "to establish an affordable, secure, open-access broadband network across the province, in line with the national broadband policy, SA Connect". The group’s share price was 0.4% higher at R12.74 at close of trade on Friday.

It has risen more than 5% so far in 2018.

ARH would provide connectivity to government departments, municipalities, businesses and households across the province over the initial three-year period, it said.

Additional services would include "a network operation, control centre and data centre".

The company previously provided broadband infrastructure in Gauteng, where it connected buildings, community service centres, townships, economic development zones, "urban renewal nodes" and schools. The project was done on a build-and-transfer basis.

Lower costs

ARH is also involved in a joint partnership to develop and operate a broadband network for the City of Tshwane.

"It is a priority of the government’s National Development Plan to connect all South Africans to broadband infrastructure," said Brett Nash, MD of ARH.

Limpopo Connexion acting CEO Baldwin Ramasobane said that the provincial broadband network would reduce the cost of doing business for the government, industry and civil society "and is a prerequisite for effective e-service implementation in the province".

The project was part of a broader plan to "help modernise" the provincial economy and create employment opportunities, he said.

"The project will further assist the Limpopo province in participating in the fourth industrial revolution and emergent disruptive technologies by developing skills for the economy and incubation programmes through the planned science and technology park," Ramasobane said.