Vumatel halts fibre installation as business forum threatens contractors

27 August 2018 - 13:10 By Suthentira Govender
Vumatel contractors threatened.
Vumatel contractors threatened.
Image: 123RF/federicofoto

Fibre provider Vumatel has halted work in KwaZulu-Natal‚ claiming their contractors have been intimidated and threatened by certain business forums.

Vumatel‚ which is rolling out fibre for faster internet connectivity in South African neighbourhoods‚ told TimesLIVE on Monday that “contractors appointed by Vumatel to roll out Fibre to the home (FTTH) infrastructure have put a temporary stop to their work in KZN after the escalation of threats and intimidation on site by various groups.”

“The civil contractors have indicated that these groups identify themselves as various business forums. Vumatel is working closely with the contractors to assist in resolving these issues and to find a way to commence with the work as soon as possible‚” the company said.

Vumatel informed clients in an email that it was not “safe or practical for the contractors to continue working in the field at the moment.”

“This means that until the issues have been resolved‚ the contractors will be unable to attend to civil work...”

Earlier this month National Treasury said in a statement that it had received complaints about “the abuse in certain provinces and municipalities of the requirement that 30% of public procurement contracts be subcontracted to designated groups.”

“It is alleged that some people are now demanding that they‚ instead be paid in cash...If their demands are not met‚ they threaten contractors‚ interrupt or stop the implementation of projects.”

Treasury slammed such practices as illegal.