• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Fibre installations leave a mess

Updated: Feb 27

Work being done on Vincent Road, Vincent is likely to take months to clean up after completion.

A City-wide outcry over the lack of proper care by private companies rolling out the multimillion-rand fibre-installation project for faster and reliable internet in the Buffalo City Metro falls on deaf ears. Two of the three private companies involved in the city-wide project cannot be reached. One of the companies, Frogfoot, has denied that their workers leave open holes and do shoddy work when retaining the original state of pavements and driveways.

There are three companies that are currently rolling out fibre; Frogfoot, HeroTel and Telengana. Kayleigh Rossler, marketing specialist for Frogfoot said her company is only working in Blue Bend, Beacon Bay and is scheduled to finish this May.

“With regards to reinstatements of verges, paving and driveways, our teams take before and after pictures to ensure that we replace your verge, driveway and paving back to the same way that we found it. Stringent safety measurements have been put in place to ensure that all driveways and, walkways are accessible,” she assured.

However, a resident in Beacon Bay claimed that her pathway was not clear for more than two weeks. East Londoners in areas such as Bunkers Hill, Cambridge, and Amalinda claim that the state that the pavements are left in, is unacceptable. "Rocks that were dug up from the trenches are left on the pavement, some of the trenches are higher than the rest of the pavement and some are lower or not levelled out. They are not leaving the pavements like before they started. Just one example of this is at the corner of Sprigg Street and Murray Avenue in Cambridge and there are many more," complained Lyn Odendaal.

At the time of going to press, Rising Sun was informed that Sprigg Street in Cambridge was attended to. An Amalinda resident, Sibongile Mtshemla took up to social media to get answers about the state of her driveway. “So, these holes won’t be fixed. They are just going to leave them and the debris here like this. It is annoying. How will this fibre even help us when we constantly do not have electricity,” she lamented.

In other areas where holes had been dug up, residents agree that they have been fixed, but after months of being left unattended and exposing children and the elderly to the high risk of falling over.

Those that complained agree that their final touch leaves a lot to be desired. The fibre rollout entails conventional trenching, whereby workers are digging shallow trenches along municipal ground and installing fibre optic cables.

"If there are any issues, citizens are welcome to approach Frogfoot site supervisors on all sites during the day. We also encourage residents to report any incidents directly to Frogfoot,” concluded Rossler.

Buffalo City Metro said this is not their project, therefore not their responsibility. Construction work only begins when approvals and permits have been issued by council departments. “There are three private companies that are installing fibre for private use in the residential and business areas. Residents can direct their queries to the companies when they leave the construction site without properly fixing pavements and driveways in the same way they found them,” said spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya.


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