Eldred Mtaner, Metro Trading Company’s (CTO) newly appointed Chief Technology Officer, has plans he is sinking his teeth into in the immediate term to improve techno-centric service delivery in the City.
Eldred’s mandate comprises stabilising the City’s broadband network, increasing the availability of CCTV cameras and rolling out Smart City infrastructure. He’s also charged with ensuring that all City entities and departments are connected to the Internet through the MTC’s broadband grid.
“I have to focus on maintaining and improving all technological aspects of the organisation with an inward and outward focus,” Eldred puts his complex role in context.
He acknowledges that access to technology has become a basic human right in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, that’s why he relishes being tasked with maintaining the functionality of the City’s free WI-FI.
“Ensuring that basic broadband infrastructure is in place will be the foundation of a connected and Smart City. It will help us reduce the cost of ICT,” he says. Eldred joined the City on Monday, 1 June 2020, with a vast background in ICT industries, ranging from banking, telecommunications to construction, transport and consulting. He’s worked for FNB, Vodacom, Aries Consulting and Nashua Communications, among others.
In his short stint in the City, Eldred is already leading the Joburg Property Company (JPC) as an Acting Managing Director. He holds a management degree, a national diploma in Information Technology, and IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) qualification and several other ICT Industry and management-related certificates. His dream is to leave the MTC as a key competitor in the broadband and ICT space and to enable SMMEs to participate in the digital economy. “This is indeed an achievement which, if realised, will leave a great legacy,” he notes. Given the increased use of technology during the lockdown, Eldred thinks the City’s work from home policy has fared well in sustaining organisational operations. “We have a lot of work to do in terms of enabling a remote and mobile workforce in areas such as our contact centres, which is the coalface of service delivery. The rollout of free WI-FI in the coming months will make a difference in bridging the digital divide, so we are moving in the right direction,” he explains. He says the Covid-19 lockdown has taught him that he’s not always in control, that change is constant and that he needs to learn to be prepared for anything. “Learning takes several forms and is continuous; know what you want, work towards what you want all the time and never give up,” he enthuses.