Telcolink earns elevated Gauteng broadband project status

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Cecil Mashawana, director at Telcolink.
Cecil Mashawana, director at Telcolink.

South African ICT solutions provider Telcolink’s role within the Gauteng Broadband Network (GBN) has expanded, moving it up the ranks as project house on the connectivity project.

This follows two years of working on the broadband project as a small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) player, according to Telcolink director Cecil Mashawana.

Altron Nexus, which is charged with the rollout of the GBN, has appointed Telcolink as a project house on the multibillion-rand project.

The appointment sees Telcolink become the fifth project house on the GBN, says Mashawana. “Telcolink previously worked on this GBN project as an SMME providing installation under supervision of four project houses that were appointed by Altron Nexus, namely Above Ground, AME, Thlolo and BONA.

“With Telcolink’s recent appointment, we will now be the fifth project house, which means supervising all the SMMEs under Altron Nexus on the GBN project and how to carry the project according to client standards, as well as complying with health and safety regulations.”

The GBN is the Gauteng Provincial Government’s (GPG’s) broadband project, which has seen more than 1 500km of fibre rolled out since its launch in 2014. Additionally, more than 1 181 sites have been connected as the GPG prioritises making the province smart by driving e-learning, e-government and e-health, among others.

The GBN focuses on connecting various sites in the Gauteng region, including clinics, hospitals and libraries in the City of Tshwane, West Rand, East Rand and City of Johannesburg.

Mashawana points out Telcolink will manage and assist those SMMEs in the West Rand that form part of the Altron network. “Telcolink’s role will entail IT PMO [project management office] to the SMMEs that will be rolling out ICT infrastructure.

“We will be responsible for Internet connectivity from LAN/WAN, installation of access points, fibre, routers and configuration of IT network switches at the schools, libraries, clinics and hospitals across the Gauteng region, primarily the West Rand.”

Established in 2013, Telcolink defines itself as a 100% black-owned telecoms and consulting company. Its focus has been on providing customised solutions and services that assist private and public sector organisations to deliver on their business objectives.

For communities in disadvantaged areas as well as the townships, the rollout of the GBN is a step towards bridging the digital divide and providing greater accessibility to government services, believes Mashawana.

“Given global events and the resultant lockdown conditions in South Africa and many other countries, it has become clear that connectivity remains paramount to success in the new normal. Reliable infrastructure is fundamental in this regard, with the quality of access crucial to the success of any business. The GBN initiative forms an integral part of this as it seeks to help learners bridge the digital divide and access the resources they would not ordinarily have had access to.

“Being recognised as a project house is testament to our relentless pursuit to empower learners in Gauteng with the much-needed access they need to equip themselves with the skills required for a digital future. We are proud of this recognition and looking forward to working even closer with Altron as we deliver high-speed, reliable Internet access to schools in the province.”

Mashawana notes the move marks a significant step for the business, as it demonstrates the success of its ongoing commitment to Altron. “We are proud of this recognition.”

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