PCCW Global, the international operating division of Hong Kong Telecom (HKT), will build the network and provide the technology infrastructure that will support a planned R84bn urban development at Modderfontein, north-east of Johannesburg, the company said on Tuesday.
The project, the brainchild of Chinese national Dai Zhikang – who is the founder and chairman of the Shanghai Zendai group – involves the development over the next 10-15 years of 1 600ha land on the East Rand previously owned by chemicals group AECI. The development will consist of commercial, industrial and residential space.
The plan is to build a “smart city”, drawing on the expertise of HKT in delivering fibre to the home (FTTH) and related services.
“We believe that the smart city to be built at Modderfontein Zendai will be on par with the most advanced and innovative developments in the world,” said Shanghai Zendai senior vice-president Du Wenhui.
“The development is expected to become a hub for Chinese firms investing in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as for those seeking to do business with China, and for people working and interacting with such companies,” he said.
“PCCW Global will draw on its resources both in Hong Kong and around the world, as well as its staff, technology and facilities already on the ground in Johannesburg, to offer Zendai everything required to create an environment in which businesses can succeed and where an exceptional living experience can be delivered for residents of Modderfontein Zendai.”
According to PCCW Global, the Modderfontein area will be built into a new city centre, with nine functional zones — a central business district; an international conference and exhibition centre; an entertainment centre; a retirement community, an international residential community, an education district, a sports centre, a trade and logistic park, and a light industry park.
The developers say the project will house 30 000 families and create about 200 000 fixed jobs.
“PCCW Global, as the venture’s strategic technology partner, will provide Zendai with a wide range of services, including systems development and solutions integration, application development and management, telecoms and IT services, cloud computing services and e-commerce solutions,” the Hong Kong-based company said.
PCCW Global has been extending its presence in Africa, in late 2012 buying pan-African carrier Gateway Communications from Vodacom.
MD for global development services at HKT Mike van den Bergh said the company has expertise in delivering broadband to the home over fibre and in delivering Internet protocol television or IPTV to consumers. HKT’s FTTH network covers about 79% of Hong Kong households, offering speeds of up to 1Gbit/s. — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media