Programme launched for new ‘Smart City’

2019-05-08 06:00
NMBM Energy and Electricity Information Officer, Reggie Tiyeki, and Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani.    Photo:SUPPLIED

NMBM Energy and Electricity Information Officer, Reggie Tiyeki, and Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani. Photo:SUPPLIED

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A THREE-IN-ONE programme has recently been launched by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Motherwell, which includes free Wi-Fi connection, CCTV cameras and LED power saving street lighting.

The NMNB Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, said that the municipality is taking bold steps to realign the city with the fourth industrial revolution and the vision of a ‘Smart City’.

“We have noticed that there was a high rate of crime in the area and we decided it is high time we did something about it. The level of unemployment among the youth is also the reason for this project. We want to unleash the potential of our young people,” Bobani said.

The programme is said to help make the internet more accessible to ordinary residents, in order to save money to use for other necessities.

According to Bobani, the LED power saving street lighting programme will not only improve visibility, it will save more electricity compared to the old light bulbs. CCTV cameras will also assist in the fight against crime in Motherwell, identified by the National Police Department as a priority high-crime area.

The infrastructure was installed on high mast street lighting across Motherwell.

Speaking at the launch, Bobani said that the days of a ‘free reign’ for criminals were over and they would be monitored 24 hours a day.

“When they commit a crime, we will track them (down) until we find them. They can run, but cannot hide,” Bobani said.

Residents are expected to register through their smart phones to be able to qualify for receiving 1 gigabyte of free data per month. Nwabisa Mbelekwane, a ward 57 resident, said, “I welcome the move.

“It will help my children do their homework and to also seek for job and business opportunities.

“In the past, I had to spend a lot of money to buy data. That money will now be saved and used towards putting food on the table.”

Motherwell residents, particularly the youth, have already registered on the internet service, with 87 000 currently registered.

Mayoral Committee Member for engineering, electricity and energy, Andile Lungisa, assured residents that the project would be implemented in other areas as well.

Lungisa added, “We will cover the whole city. We want to have a connected and smart city that competes among other cities in the world.

“This is just the beginning – there is more to come,” Lungisa said.

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