Govt earmarks R1bn for broadband, digital migration

2015-10-21 14:57 - Gareth van Zyl
Broadband internet. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene plans to shift R1bn for the roll-out of broadband infrastructure and broadcast digital migration.

This is according to government’s mini budget statement released on Wednesday.

Along with addressing issues such as inadequate electricity supply, investing in broadband forms part of government’s medium-term actions to “support the economy” and action “economic reforms to build a more competitive economy”.

“The revised MTEF (medium-term expenditure framework) shifts about R9bn from within existing baselines to priority programmes,” read the statement.

“About R4.8bn is re-prioritised for upgrades and maintenance of the national and provincial road networks, R1.4bn has been identified to support provincial public transport, and about R1bn will be shifted for the rollout of broadband infrastructure and broadcast digital migration,” the statement added.

In the document, government further said that “competitiveness improves as result of broadband investment”.

However, Nene announced in his inaugural budget speech in February that R1.1bn would be allocated to the expansion of broadband connectivity, which indicates how the budget has been adjusted downwards.

In February, Nene said the broadband budget was targeted at "broadband connectivity in government institutions and schools".