Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality says it is exploring the introduction of a ‘Fifth Utility’ through a legal feasibility exercise, as it beefs up efforts to come with new ways of improving services and revenue generation through beneficial partnerships with the private sector.
The cash-strapped metro has announced that it also plans to establish a smart digital city to help develop the local economy and create jobs.
Fifth Utility is a model for new services and revenue streams for the municipality, in addition to the existing four main utilities of water, waste, sanitation and electricity.
The Fifth Utility, as currently explored by Mangaung, includes services and trading in the areas of broadband and data, logistics and warehousing, gas and green energy (including solar, wind and waste recycling energy).
According to an invitation for expression of interest by prospect private sector partners, signed by City Manager Advocate Tankiso Mea, the closing date for submissions is today (October 30, 2020).
Mea says the municipality is expected to come with new ways of service delivery and revenue generation through beneficial partnerships with the private sector and full use of its “constitutional competency to achieve its service delivery objectives, establishing a smart digital city, as well as developing its economy and creating jobs”.
Mangaung notes it is considering the legal feasibility of entering partnerships with prospective private partners in the above Fifth Utility fields due to its limited financial resources.
Subject to Assets Transfer Regulations of 2008 and other regulations, the municipality will consider offering the use of its infrastructure and facilities such as land, buildings, telecommunications, water and electricity infrastructure and network, landfills and wastewater to the partnership.
Private sector partners may invest or request use of or in the infrastructure for amongst others; the deployment of fibre, telecommunications network, gas reticulation, green energy plants and logistics distribution mechanism, the metro explains.
The partnership is expected to result in enhanced and new services by the municipality, additional revenue through share agreements, and economic recovery and growth for the city of Mangaung.
According to the municipality, the partners will have an opportunity to contribute to service delivery to residents, as well as access to Mangaung, provincial, national and international markets.
It adds various cities have taken advantage of their positioning as regional economic and tourism centres with regional passenger travel connecting and cargo logistics warehousing centres for onward conveyance and delivery to other parts of the world.
Following the inspiration of these cities, Mangaung has established that it is strategically the most centered South African city between coastal ports of Mossel Bay, Saldanha Bay, East London, Durban, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay, the inland airports of Maluti A Phofung Special Economic Zone, OR Tambo, Maseru, Kimberly, Upington and Mbombela. Therefore, establishment of a transport economic hub or special economic zone would revive the city’s economy and boost its revenue.
The municipality is also looking at opportunities in gas reticulation after discovering private dwellings and other industrial customers are increasingly resorting to LP gas for home cooking, heating, and industrial use.
The notice further notes Schedule 4B of the constitution provides the metro with the power to protect its revenue and at the same enhance it through gas reticulation and trading as an alternative revenue source.
The municipality is also expected to join hands with private partners with telecommunications licenses to roll out fibre, network connectivity to the city, marginalised communities – especially townships – and sell data, cheaper smart phones and telecommunications ancillary products on an agreed model of revenue share basis.
CITY MANAGER ADV. TANKISO MEA
Issued by MMM Communications www.mangaung.co.za | FB: Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality Official Call Centre – 0800 111 300