Francistown City Council (FCC) is about to roll out free Wifi to the public in the second city.
The Wifi will cover Galo Mall, Nyangabwe Referral Hospital, Nzano Mall, Nswazwi Mall, Bus Rank and Philip Matante Airport.
Speaking during a full council meeting on Monday, Francistown Mayor Godisang Radisigo said the implementation of the initiative will open up new opportunities for the local communities including entrepreneurs through e-commerce and digitisation of the city public services.
“The city council has entered into a partnership with Botswana Fibre Networks (BOFINET) to provide the public with free WIFI as one of our smart city initiatives,” said Radisigo.
He said the advantage of this initiative is that equity and equal access to services will be improved as those who have not been able to afford internet connectivity will benefit from the free 1-hour daily connection.
Touching on construction and roads maintenance in the city, the mayor said the design of a pedestrian bridge across Tati River that will link Block 2 and its peripheral areas to Somerset Extension was awarded at P2.1 million. He said the project started on the 14th of June 2020 and progress is currently at 50 percent completion stage. The project is expected to be completed by 26 September 2021.
“Completion of the design and mobilization of funds for construction of the bridge is of utmost importance,” he said.
He also said the city council is currently patching potholes, resealing and doing an asphalt overlay on the roads after some of the city roads were destroyed by rains. Radisigo further said there is an ongoing effort to address this issue through a contract for potholes patching and edge protection which was awarded on the 2nd of October 2020. Some of the locations that will benefit from this project include Block 7, City Centre, Monarch, Somerset West, Coloured, Block 8, Satellite, Bluetown and Somerset Extension.
“The project is currently at 75 percent completion and the remaining portion of about 1000 metre squared in Monarch is expected to complete by end of June 2021. In addition, the works for resealing(5km) and asphalt overlay (2km) which is at practical completion stage and covered areas such as Bluetown, CBD, Dumela Level crossing, Gerald Level crossing and Selepa,” the mayor said.
Among other important issues he said the mandate of the city council to keep the city illuminated has been hampered since the beginning of the year due to challenges such as failure to supply materials by suppliers and fleet breakdown. He however said mitigation measures were put in place and maintenance was done along Selepa road, A3 (Airport), Monarch road from Tatitown Primary School, Phase 6, Nata and Lephoi Drive(Block 7) and Gerald (Mophane) among others.
“Although we are still lagging behind because of the challenges we are facing, our intention is to pick up momentum given the availability of fleet and complete the remaining work within three weeks. With regards to street lights that belong to Botswana Power Corporation, consultations are still ongoing to facilitate the handing over to Council,” he said.