Financial

Altron unit bags multimillion-rand eThekwini deal

Altron CEO Mteto Nyati.
Altron CEO Mteto Nyati.

JSE-listed Altron subsidiary, Netstar, has been awarded a three-year contract by the eThekwini Municipality for the supply, integration and maintenance of a vehicle tracking technology solution for 7 000 vehicles.

In a statement, Altron says the multimillion-rand deal, which will involve technology being deployed across the entire fleet, enables the municipality to track, monitor, communicate and respond in real-time.

Commenting on the win, Pierre Bruwer, Netstar managing director, says: "Our technology solutions will be used to assist the eThekwini Municipality in providing a seamless transport service to the citizens of eThekwini. This includes the provision and maintenance of tracking and transport management.

"Partnering with our customers to empower them is part of the Altron fabric, particularly with regard to skills development and service delivery."

Altron says skills transfer forms part of the contract, and Netstar has committed to ensuring both skills development and female empowerment.

Netstar runs an 18-month technician apprenticeship programme which entails training eThekwini's female employees as technicians within the fleet systems and monitoring division. They have studied electrical engineering with support from the city, Netstar and on-site mentors.

Senior manager at the municipality's city fleet, Suben Govender, says the unit is passionate about ensuring employment equity and the transfer of skills.

"In our previous model, we had appointed a service provider to handle the maintenance of our tracking systems but there was little to no skills transfer. It is imperative that the youth are empowered so that they become employable."

"Netstar has been a leader in the safety and security industry in South Africa and is proud to have been selected by the eThekwini Municipality to provide a critical service. Government is a key customer for us, as we continue our journey to provide citizens with innovative solutions that matter," notes Bruwer.

Since the appointment of Mteto Nyati as Altron CEO last year, the group announced the streamlining and simplification of its corporate and executive structures, which was followed by a full review of its core businesses.

The company implemented a turnaround strategy which has so far paid off, with Altron selling some of its non-core business assets as well as making some acquisitions.

Altron subsidiaries have also bagged a number of lucrative contracts since then. For example, in February, Atron's Altech Radio Holdings was appointed by the Limpopo provincial government, through Limpopo Connexion, to roll out a R585 million broadband network in the province.

In March, Altron's Bytes Systems Integration secured several contracts with the South African Post Office (SAPO). The JSE-listed company's subsidiary said it had been awarded multiple tenders worth a combined amount of close to R220 million to support SAPO with biometric technology.

In May, Altron subsidiary Bytes UK signed a five-year contract with the UK's National Health Service to roll out Microsoft Windows 10 to all its computers. The contract, worth a total 150 million pounds (R2.5 billion), or 30 million pounds (R510 million) per year, saw Bytes UK take the tender in a competitive bid that included 10 other companies.

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