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City of Windhoek says Paratus Telecom is not in possession of the required permission for trenching within a road reserve

City of Windhoek says  Paratus Telecom is not in possession of the required permission for trenching within a road reserve

The City of Windhoek in a statement said that they are protecting public space from abuse for purposes of self-interest, in line with the Local Authorities Act (Act No. 23 of 1992. The Act), following reports that they confiscated tools belonging to Paratus Telecom

The action taken is part of the City Council’s mandate to ensure law and order, the City fathers highlighted in the recently issued statement.

According to the City authority, the Act they are enforcing stipulates that the City is entrusted with the sole custodianship, ownership and administration of land within it jurisdiction including road reserves.

The City also further confirmed that Paratus Telecom is not in possession of the required permission for trenching within a road reserve in the areas where they were operating at the time of stoppage and confiscation.

“Since late 2018, Paratus Telecom stopped honouring our explicit requirements in term of trenching within road reserves, applicable to any entity who wishes to do so and subsequently failed to comply with and adhere to relevant conditions and technical standards,” they emphasised.

They said it is unfortunate that this is a continuous and uncompromising modes adopted by Paratus Telecom, trenching on public side walks and causing damage to public infrastructure, an unfortunate situation that they are left with no choice, but to assume is intentional and thus necessitated them to take the necessary action to stop the damage caused to public infrastructure.

“In as much as entities are allowed to serve their stakeholders through providing the necessary infrastructure, even in public spaces, this has to happen in an orderly fashion and in the interest of the broader public,” they added.

According the CoW, Patatus Telecom’s refusal to follow set Council procedures on trenching has led to Council registering a dispute with Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), therefore this dispute is continuing and is being adjudicated through CRAN.

“We trust this shall serve to set the record straight in terms of what we regard as misleading allegations recently made in the media and elsewhere in an apparent attempt to bring the name of the City of Windhoek into disrepute,” they said.

The City said they remain committed to resolving this matter amicably, provided that Paratus Telecom agrees and equally commits to operating within the parameters as stipulated by Council and as followed by all the other telecommunications operators.


 

About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and is working on her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She believes education is the greatest equalizer. She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.