BAOBAB FIBRE PROJECT: SALDANHA BAY MUNICIPALITY DIGITAL CITIZEN APPLICATION

by | Jun 28, 2022 | Baobab Fibre Project, Media Release

Saldanha Bay Municipality strives to be innovative and at the forefront of technology.  To this effect, it has embraced the challenge to prepare the municipal area for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) with an inclusive approach, enabling citizens to engage in a digital transformation.

Saldanha Bay Municipality is proud to announce that the Baobab open access network (OAN) fibre project, a multi-centric utility focus, is delivering on two important Smart City building blocks.

The first building block, being the installation of a singular master open access network, is a digital highway unlocking a wide variety of approved Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Secondly enabling all Saldanha Bay Municipal residents and businesses the freedom of choice to contract with and make use of the value-added services on offer (data, content, bundle services, and municipal utility management).

Technology is not the solution on its own, but it is an enabler and catalyst that can be utilised in innovative ways to achieve socio-economic development in communities.  A project such as this, is embedded in the overarching framework, of Saldanha Bay Municipality’s  open access infrastructure, that will focus on solving the provision of fibre-to-the-X for all in the community, that creates an open, equitable and transparent platform for the private sector and municipality to provide value-added services on the back of the fibre network and platforms.

The Baobab fibre project was formally initiated on 6 December 2021 and has made huge strides in establishing the open access fibre infrastructure, (which has already been) installed in Langebaan, Saldanha and Vredenburg. The initial focus is on civil trenching works.  The project plan makes provision for completion of works within an estimated 18 months, when the entire Saldanha Bay Municipal area will be covered with network infrastructure.  The civils and ducting project will now extend to Jacobsbaai, Paternoster, St Helena Bay and Hopefield with an expected completion date of approximately August 2023.

To date, a total of four local Internet Service Providers are contracted and are in the process of being on-boarded onto the Zoom Fibre network.  National and regional Internet Service Providers will offer their value-added services to all our citizens and local businesses.

In addition, various telecommunication points of presence have been deployed in each town to inter- connect the towns. In addition, the OAN fibre network partner, Zoom Fibre, will start with the fibre long hauls between the seven Saldanha Bay Municipal towns, ensuring redundancy, reliability, availability and quality of services of the deployed network.

As interest in so called Smart Cities continues to grow, driven by a range of social, economic and technological developments that are impacting cities around the world, more are committing to programmes geared towards sustainability, innovation and economic development that depend on technological investments.

Choosing the correct partners and providers to deliver these programmes is of critical importance for the future of Saldanha Bay Municipality.  An effective telecommunications network and related services are essential enablers of such a smart municipal vision.

We are proud to say that we are the only municipality in the country to have tackled this holistic problem head-on. We have built a proof-of-concept network to test the viability of creating and integrating fibre as a utility. The Baobab fibre project can connect every single household in our area of jurisdiction, and it will depend on the end-user to order their desired services on the back of this connection, with municipal utilities it, as a standard provision.

On Friday, 1 July 2022, the Saldanha Bay Municipality will deliver on the second building block by activating the Saldanha Bay Municipality Digital Citizen Application that is integrated with the open access network to deliver its utility services digitally to prospective users.  The Digital Citizen Application will connect citizens, businesses and the municipality with one another to create a smarter, more efficient working community.

Baobab Fibre Project Statistics: Currently in Progress

 Vredenburg

Saldanha

Langebaan

Total meters combined
Total planned meters 266 609 m
Total meters completed 247 244 m

Vredenburg
Total planned meters 124 081 m
Total meters completed 106 197 m

Langebaan
Total planned meters 70 267 m
Total meters completed 68 786 m

Saldanha
Total planned meters 72 261 m
Total meters completed 72 261 m

Activities for broadband services are underway in the above-mentioned areas and can be pre-ordered.

The Digital Citizen App, conceptualised by Amoeba TSC and aligned to function effortlessly with municipal systems, forms part of the Baobab Fibre project, which is focused on connecting every single household in the municipal area.

The application is a comprehensive engagement platform between the citizens, municipality and service providers with the following functionalities: communication, emergency button, helpdesk, utility management, services shopping, digital wallet and payments, document repository, events, photo gallery and facility management. Certain functionalities are still under construction.

Community Focus:

The Baobab fibre project is focused on more than just providing an Open Access Network in the Saldanha Bay Municipal area. Zoom Fibre is further committed to supplying every school within the region with a free fibre connection in line with the Zoom Fibre school initiative. Throughout the roll-out of the network Zoom Fibre has further committed to supply temporary and permanent local employment, either directly with Zoom Fibre or through their build partner First in Fibre Optics (Pty) Ltd. (FIFO). To date the project has involved over 200 local persons with temporary employment opportunities:  

Baobab Fibre Project: Local Employment
Month 2022 Saldanha Average Langebaan Average Vredenburg Average
February 2022 50 24 92
March 2022 56 11 143
April 2022 12 8 42
May 2022 26 16 194

Zoom Fibre and FIFO have further committed to engage local Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in every phase of the project roll out. Project opportunities are advertised and published on the Saldanha Bay Municipality website, under the “Baobab Fibre Project” tab. To appoint suitable and quality local businesses to assist with these project opportunities, formal vetting is done by both the Saldanha Bay Municipality and Zoom Fibre.

The Saldanha Bay Municipal Digital Citizen App for Android and iOS can be downloaded from the various app stores.

Android from the Google Play Store, iOS from the Apple App store and Huawei App Gallery.

Download Instructions:

Search for Saldanha Digital Citizen and follow download instructions. Register as a user.

Homeowners can link their Saldanha Bay Municipality properties in the application.

Enquiries: E-mail to Baobab@sbm.gov.za.

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