Paratus and CoW clash

14 February 2020 | Infrastructure

Yolanda Nel
Paratus employees who were digging trenches for fiber-optic connections in the capital yesterday, were stopped when equipment and the contractor's truck were seized by City Police.
Although a document stamped by the Windhoek City Council on December 12 last year, states that Paratus has permission to make the connection in Nelson Mandela Drive, the employees were informed that they were in violation of a bylaw of the local authorities’ act.
According to Paratus managing director, Mr Andrew Hall, no one from the city council could say exactly what the bylaw entails, but that the CoW is of the opinion that " Paratus does damage to the sidewalks when they lay the cables". Yet the stamped document clearly states that the CoW realises that the work relates to laying pipes, tunnels or tubes that are necessary to provide telecommunications facilities.
“This requires construction to be carried out underground, roads or sidewalks," according to the document.
According to Hall, Paratus filed an application for this connection last year and which was approved. Hall argues that in terms of section 62, Paratus has the mandate to make these connections.
He acknowledged that they (Paratus) received a letter on Wednesday that they were in violation of the bylaw "but we decided to continue with the work because we followed all the steps correctly and got the necessary permission," he said. According to him, there was no reason not to continue with the work.
Paratus has many projects and this incident can put them behind schedule for up to two weeks. "It seems to be a tactic of City Council to slow us down and it has a tremendous impact on our operations," Hall said.
Paratus received a letter from the City in 2018 stating that their applications will not be approved in the future because the CoW itself wants to start competing with them. "As seen in the media, the City has advertised for an Expression of Interest to commercialize our Optic Fibre Network, which will see an upgrade on and expansion of our existing fibre infrastructure in order to achieve the same goal as you,” the letter read.
“Since your project conflicts with Council’s intended project and neither has your company participated in our Expression of Interest invitation, the City cannot authorize your company to install further access or any fibre infrastructure on any of the City’s Servitudes, Public Spaces or roads within the boundaries and jurisdiction of the city of Windhoek for this directly jeopardizes Council’s strategic intentions stated in our Transformation Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022,” according to the document.
Yet, according to Hall, City Council is not in possession of a telecommunications license. "Council applied for the license only last year," Hall explained.
After the altercation yesterday morning, Paratus employees gathered with Hall at City Council offices so that all equipment confiscated by the police could be recorded.
Phone calls to the City of Windhoek communications officer remained unanswered, while questions sent via email regarding what the bylaw entails, were not responded to before going to print.
Communications authority CRAN had also not responded to enquiries regarding the City’s application for the Telecommunication license.

Similar News


Power for Otjomuise ext. 6

1 week ago - 20 October 2020 | Infrastructure

The City of Windhoek (CoW) officially switched on electricity for the Otjomuise Extension Six informal settlement as part of its development obligations to supply electricity...

Happy housing beneficiaries

1 week ago - 19 October 2020 | Infrastructure

The City of Windhoek (CoW) handed over completed affordable houses to eight beneficiaries at Goreangab in the Samora Machel Constituency on Friday.These houses are part...

Covid-19 spurs school sanitation

1 week ago - 19 October 2020 | Infrastructure

Windhoek • [email protected] accelerated provision of water and toilets to schools over the past seven months offers a much-needed reprieve from the relentless blitz of...

Otjomuise residents receive occupation certificates

1 week ago - 15 October 2020 | Infrastructure

The City of Windhoek issued Certificates of Acknowledgement of Land Occupation to 20 residents of the Otjomuise informal settlement on Wednesday.Speaking at the handover, Khomas...

Accident victims' house modification programme impacted by pandemic

2 weeks ago - 13 October 2020 | Infrastructure

The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund may not be able to reach its 2020 target for modifying the houses of seriously injured accident victims as...

Informal settlements still in crisis

2 weeks ago - 09 October 2020 | Infrastructure

Windhoek • [email protected] years after the second national land conference put the spotlight on the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Namibia’s urban informal settlements, experts say...

Some light for Havana residents

3 weeks ago - 01 October 2020 | Infrastructure

Phase 2 of Havana informal settlement’s electrification project was commissioned by the minister of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni on Wednesday.He said this step...

Informal market coming for Havana

1 month - 17 September 2020 | Infrastructure

Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu said the city received a pledge of N$5 million from the ministry of industrialisation, trade and SME development to help build...

Street resurfacing to begin soon

1 month - 16 September 2020 | Infrastructure

The City of Windhoek announced that the annual road resurfacing tender has been awarded to Tau Pele Namibia Construction, and that work would commence shortly....

‘Redistribution’ of congested informal settlements

1 month - 16 September 2020 | Infrastructure

Windhoek • [email protected] informal settlements in Windhoek are to be classified as so-called “catchment areas”, in which Namibians from rural areas will initially be accommodated...

Latest News

Hot hockey on the cards

20 hours ago | Sports

The Namibia National Inline Hockey (NIIHA) team trials where held last weekend and while the temperature outside was hot, the action inside was on fire!This...

Micro grant for Gobabis foundation

20 hours ago | Society

The Light for the Children Foundation in Gobabis received N$180 000 from the German embassy's micro project fund to implement safety measures at its school...

Aiming for top cycling honours

21 hours ago | Sports

The Nedbank Desert Dash is the principle for every cyclist, and this year, the Namibia Cleaning Chemical Solutions (NCCS) Cymot Pro Cycling team says the...

Purchasing property for the parents

22 hours ago | Life Style

It is not uncommon for those who find themselves in a better financial position than that of their parents, to purchase a property on their...

Rural residents receive food parcels

22 hours ago | Social Issues

The Namibia Red Cross in collaboration with the health ministry and with the assistance of NamibRE last week donated food parcels to 50 vulnerable households...

A history of violence

23 hours ago | Social Issues

Windhoek • Jana-Mari SmithNamibia’s grim epidemic of violence against women could be partly traced to decades of violent oppression by colonial and apartheid forces and...

Changemakers reach out

23 hours ago | Social Issues

In a bid to continue creating positive change in communities, volunteering employees of the Capricorn Group spent time with over 100 orphans, vulnerable children and...

Poiya Media: A success story

23 hours ago | Business

As Poiyah Media celebrates over 1000 days in business, it welcomed its sixth group of interns to its public relations agency.Since inception, Poiyah Media not...

New campaign ignites patriotism

1 day - 27 October 2020 | Banking

Get Local #GoBeyond – this is Bank Windhoek’s new swipe campaign that is aimed at stimulating patriotism in light of the global pandemic challenges.According to...

Load More