The City of Cape Town says it's compelled by law to allow fibre infrastructure providers to lay their networks across neighbourhoods in the city.
This comes after some complaints from residents about the disruptions caused every time a provider digs up trenches to lay down infrastructure.
The City's Johan Snyman says officials are obligated to provide a permit to the fibre companies for them to conduct work after evaluating their applications.
He says the City sets conditions that providers must adhere to.
Companies must comply with specific positioning, meet occupational health and safety standards, and reinstate what has been damaged or removed in the process.
According to Snyman, a pavement can be dug up several times as different service providers apply to serve the same area.
This is because many of the companies don't want to collaborate on installing infrastructure.
Snyman adds that the City grants up to 5 500 permits per annum, many of which are unfortunately in repeated areas.
There is law which basically gives a right to registered telecommunications providers that have a licence to do so.— Johan Snyman, Cape Town City area manager for the Asset Management and Maintenance
The market demand isn't always as logical as we would like it to be and infrastructure providers compete with the same market.— Johan Snyman, Cape Town City area manager for the Asset Management and Maintenance
We're not allowed to say no [to providers].— Johan Snyman, Cape Town City area manager for the Asset Management and Maintenance
In general, I think that the companies have come to the party to ensure that our infrastructure is left in a reasonable state.— Johan Snyman, Cape Town City area manager for the Asset Management and Maintenance
Snyman outlined the standard conditions of implementing fibre and the City's oversight role when things go wrong.
Listen to him explain on The John Maytham Show: