Editor: The press release below extolls the free wi-fi offering from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. The political cynic within me cannot help but wonder at the timing of these wonderful free offerings being given at the expense of the ratepayers. The burning question is really; “Is this a case of using ratepayer money to electioneer?” Followed by; “How morally corrupt can one be if this is true?”:
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is taking bold steps to re-align the City with the 4th Industrial revolution and the vision of a Smart City. This was confirmed in action when Executive Mayor Cllr Mongameli Bobani launched a three-in-one programme in Motherwell Nu1. The programme will introduce free WIFI connection, CCTV cameras and LED power saving street lightning.
It is meant to help make Internet more accessible to ordinary citizens, saving them money that they can use for other necessities. LED power saving street lightning will not only improve visibility, it will save more electricity compared to the old light bulbs. CCTV cameras will also assist in the fight against crime in the area of Motherwell, identified by the National Police Department as a priority high-crime area.
Speaking to residents at the launch, Executive Mayor Bobani said: “We noticed that there was a high rate of crime in the area and we decided it is high time we did something about it. The level of unemployment among youth is also the reason for this project: we want to unleash the potential of our young people”.
About the installation of CCTV cameras, Mayor Bobani said that the days of a free reign for criminals were over. “They must know now that we are watching them 24/7. When they commit a crime, we will track them until we find them. They can run, but cannot hide,” said Mayor Bobani.
All this infrastructure was installed on high-mast street lighting across Motherwell. Residents are expected to register through their smart phones to be able to qualify for receiving a 1 gig of free data per month.
“I welcome the move! It will help my children do their homework and to also seek for job and business opportunities. In the past, I had to spend a lot of money to buy data, now that money will be saved and used towards putting food on the table”, said 37-year-old Nwabisa Mbelekwane, a Ward 57 resident.
Motherwell residents, more especially the youth, have already registered for the this internet service, with 87 000 currently registered.
Also speaking at the launch was Mayoral Committee Member for Electricity and Energy, Cllr Andile Lungisa, who assured the residents that the project would be implemented in other areas as well.
“We will cover the whole City! We want to have a connected and smart City that competes among other Cities of the world. This is just the beginning – there is more to come,” said Councillor Lungisa.
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