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Roll out of fibre infrastructure in South Africa gets a boost

Trenching Systems, a startup founded by ICT entrepreneur Andile Tlhoaele, and UK-based Telmax have partnered to acquire the Marias-manufactured Sidecut SC3C micro-trencher machine to further enable the roll-out of fibre infrastructure in South Africa.
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Source: Unsplash

The installation of fibre using micro-trenching in South Africa was first done at Woodlands Estate, Bloemfontein in 2015.

Micro-trenching innovation is a technique of laying fibre using specialised machines. These machines cut a narrow and shallow ditch on the road surface alongside the pavement where the curb and the tarmac meet without damaging the road infrastructure.

Micro-trenching has been proven to be the quickest way to lay fibre. The technique prevents the damaging of municipal infrastructure including the road, has minimal disruptions to traffic and generally fewer complaints about the inconvenience during the roll-out.

4th Industrial Revolution applications can only be realised through access to high-speed internet. Access to high-speed internet through fibre is by far the most convenient way to access high-speed internet. Micro-trenching is the fastest way to deploy fibre infrastructure with minimum disruptions to services and whilst protecting existing infrastructure.

Andile Tlhoaele

Tlhoaele is one of the first individuals who invested in the Sidecut SC3C micro-trencher machine to roll out infrastructure installations using micro-trenching innovation in South Africa back in December 2014, with the second investment made by Telmax in July 2015.

“As the former chairperson and director of ICT committee for the Mooikloof Heights Home Owners Association (NPC) one of the estates in Pretoria east, I can attest to the benefits of access to high-speed internet through fibre. Back in 2016, owners decided to roll out fibre in the estate. Today with problems caused by Covid-19 and the need to work from home, residents are enjoying the convenience of high-speed internet through fibre. As a South African company, we also want to contribute towards reducing data costs, create employment and addressing the challenge of upskilling labour,” explains Tlhoaele.

“With one machine onsite, we are able to create ten labour intensive job opportunities, from backfilling, landscaping and cleaning after trenching. The same labour skills can be upskilled to fibre installations, terminations, floating, splicing and testing on other projects.”

Tlhoaele has over 20 years of experience in the ICT industry and is the founder of Inforcomm, Skillslab and Moja Centres. He is also the chairperson of the B-BBEE ICT Sector Council, the Electronic Waste Association of South Africa (eWASA) and MICT SETA 4IR Advisory Committee.


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