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


Neighbours appeal against CoW decision

1 day - 20 February 2020 | Infrastructure

Yolanda Nel – Neighbours of a proposed three storey dwelling in Xena Street, Windhoek, have appealed against the City of Windhoek after the municipal council...

Fibre fight continues

4 days ago - 17 February 2020 | Infrastructure

Yolanda Nel Although the City of Windhoek (CoW) indicated two years ago that they won’t continue allowing IT service provider Paratus to install fibre optic...

Airports get green light

2 weeks ago - 06 February 2020 | Infrastructure

The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) announced that the operating licences of the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA), Walvis Bay International Airport and Andimba Toivo ya...

Neighbours object while City approves plans

2 weeks ago - 03 February 2020 | Infrastructure

Yolanda Nel Plans to relax a 5 and 7 meter building line as well as building consent for a three storey dwelling in Xena Street,...

Residents owe City close to N$1 billion

2 weeks ago - 31 January 2020 | Infrastructure

Yolanda Nel - As at 31 December, residents owe the City of Windhoek N$935 million, of which N$663 million is past due and owed over...

Support for desalination

3 weeks ago - 30 January 2020 | Infrastructure

Windhoek and our coastal towns are under pressure to meet increasing water supply demands at a time when resources are becoming ever more unreliable and...

Airport facelift progressing well

3 weeks ago - 30 January 2020 | Infrastructure

The renovation of Hosea Kutako International Airport is expected to be complete by September, which should enable the airport to handle double the current number...

NHE housing project starts in January

2 months ago - 12 December 2019 | Infrastructure

Yolanda Nel A total of N$2.8 million from a N$10 million budget will be used by the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) to build eight houses...

Big infrastructure investments in 2020

2 months ago - 09 December 2019 | Infrastructure

PowerCom announced its 2020 plans of investing in infrastructure across the country, with 19 towers that have been identified in the Khomas, Hardap, Erongo, Otjozondjupa...

New development in Kleine Kuppe

2 months ago - 06 December 2019 | Infrastructure

At the ground breaking ceremony of a new development in the Kleine Kuppe, Windhoek City Council member Paulus Immanuel called on developers and financiers to...

Latest News

Lending a helping hand

5 minutes ago | Local News

Yolanda Nel It only takes one moment to see the need of a single person to completely change your outlook on life – making you...

Warm Hyundai i30N laat harte...

16 hours ago | Motors

Kaapstad • Dirk GallowitzDrie jaar ná die i30N in 2017 by die Frankfurt Motorskou sy buiging gemaak het, is dit begin Februarie ten einde laaste...

Top Namibian cosmetics at Vivaness

16 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

The Namibia Network of the Cosmetics Industry (NANCi) sent a delegation of ten SMEs to exhibit Cosmetics Made in Namibia at the Vivaness 2020 organic...

Rugby trials for Barthés Trophy

18 hours ago | Sports

The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) has called up 47 players for a training and trials camp in preparation for the 2020 edition of the U/20...

NUST receives big for careers...

22 hours ago | Business

FNB Namibia recently donated N$20 000 toward the NUST Career Starter Week (CSW) Workshop.The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and B360 Education Partnerships...

Higgs brings flavor to Namib...

22 hours ago | Sports

Chef and keen mountain biker, David Higgs, will be participating in this years’ Windhoek Light Namib Quest race.Not only will he be racing, he will...

Groot bederf by die vismark

1 day - 20 February 2020 | Art and Entertainment

Yolanda Nel - Dis al ’n tradisie. Ek en my vriendin vier elke jaar Valentynsdag saam. Dan herdenk ons ons vriendskap wat al amper drie...

Chill with Windhoek Express

1 day - 20 February 2020 | Art and Entertainment

Currently running• Beloved land of savannahs – a collection of landscapes and graphics –exhibited at the Woermannhaus Gallery in Swakopmund until 23 February. Opening times:...

Neighbours appeal against CoW decision

1 day - 20 February 2020 | Infrastructure

Yolanda Nel – Neighbours of a proposed three storey dwelling in Xena Street, Windhoek, have appealed against the City of Windhoek after the municipal council...

Load More