Sentech still not spent R500 million promised for a national broadband project and unlikely to get more

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Government's problem child, Sentech, has not been allocated any funding for its national broadband network over the next few years. Sentech has been tasked with rolling out a national wholesale broadband network by government, to take broadband to the poor and expand into rural areas. However, the parastatal will not receive funding for the project in the next few years.

The Estimates of National Expenditure document, provided along with other budget documents to journalists in anticipation of finance minister Parvin Gordhan's budget speech this afternoon, shows that no funding has been set aside over the next three years.

This, explains a National Treasury official, who cannot be named, is because Sentech has not spent the R500 million it was allocated in 2007/8 on the project, and the funding is still sitting in the parastatal's bank account.

Sentech was recently the focus of a task team investigation, which found it was in a dire financial situation and questioned management's ability to lead the parastatal.

TV delays. However, Sentech will receive R270.9 million in the coming financial year and R279 million in 2011/12 for digitisation. In the year after that, it will receive R167 million.

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