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Technology & Communications News

MeerKAT telescope takes part in start of new era of astronomy

By: Keith Campbell     16th October 2017 South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array, although still under construction, has successfully participated in an unprecedented international collaboration that has opened a new era in astronomy. For the first time, a major astronomical event – the collision of two neutron stars – has been... 

Blockchain technology set to shake up business in Africa

By: Kim Cloete     13th October 2017 The advent of blockchain technology is set to radically change the way businesses operate, several speakers at the Thomson Reuters Africa Summit have said. “Blockchain is so much more transformative than even the Internet revolution because it allows you to transact,” said media and marketing... 

Africa urged to set the trends in digital innovation

By: Kim Cloete     13th October 2017 African countries have the potential to set trends rather than follow them in a world dominated by hurtling changes in information technology (IT), delegates attending the Thomson Reuters Africa Summit have heard. Digital and technology transfer expert Lee Naik said over 300-million customers... 

South African Weather Service battered by faulty equipment, decries CEO

By: News24Wire      13th October 2017 The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has blamed the poor state of their equipment for failing to warn citizens earlier of the stormy weather that devastated parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. SAWS CEO Jerry Lengoasa on Thursday said although a severe weather warning for the catastrophic... 

Nonconformance of standards exacerbates drought conditions

By: Nica Schreuder     13th October 2017 Fundamental conformities not being upheld during the manufacturing stages of pipe production has exacerbated South Africa’s current water scarcity, says plastics and polymer testing laboratory P.E.S.C. MD Graham Marsberg. “The basics of pipe manufacturing involves quality workmanship. This... 

Nonconformance of standards exacerbates drought conditions
CONFORMING TO STANDARDS SATAS or SABS accreditation is essential to ensuring reliable water infrastructure that adheres to strict standards

South Africa’s space sector hobbled by lack of support

By: Keith Campbell     13th October 2017 South Africa's space sector has been hobbled by lack of adequate support from the South African Government. This was made clear during a panel discussion on space technology at the recent Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference 2017 in Pretoria. "Most space programmes, worldwide, have been... 

Not a cent available to implement the Defence Review, Wakeford warns

By: Keith Campbell     13th October 2017 The South African defence sector needs to bring home to the country the importance of defence for the technological, innovation and economic development of the country. So affirmed Armscor CEO Kevin Wakeford in his address to the recent fourth annual Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference in... 

Finance and critical communications seen as initial markets for quantum encryption

By: Schalk Burger     13th October 2017 A real-time quantum-encryption system can be deployed onto existing networks to secure communications in the banking and finance industries and for critical applications, says University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Physics professor Andrew Forbes. Forbes and his team, along with... 

Finance and critical communications seen as initial markets for quantum encryption
Photo by University of the Witswatersrand School of Physics
QUANTUM DEVICE The working prototype at the Wits School of Physics can differentiate between 200 patterns of OAM of photons simultaneously

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale battery storage prospects improve

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Following the release of an energy storage techno-economic study ‘The South Africa Energy Storage Technology and Market Assessment’, advocating that South Africa requires market preparation to take advantage of growth opportunities in the stationary and mobility value chains of energy storage,... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale  battery storage prospects improve

Buried utility locating facility essential for accurate information

By: Simone Liedtke     13th October 2017 Utility management company Bosch Munitech’s specialised Underground Services Location (USL) facility encompasses advanced utility detection and mapping services, which are essential for providing accurate information on buried utility infrastructure layouts, says Bosch Munitech underground and... 

Buried utility locating facility essential for accurate information
NECESSARY SERVICE The Underground Services Location facility helps with the planning of new pipe designs, utility diversions and new construction

Product range to expand to construction industry

By: Simone Liedtke     13th October 2017 Owing to the risk posed by utility pipes, and electrical lines and cables in the ground, industrial product supplier Actum Industrial – part of the Actum Group – is targeting the construction, municipal, and oil and gas industry with its Ridgid range of tooling equipment – such as the SR-20 and... 

Product range to expand  to construction industry
BUILDING ON THE PAST The SR-24 utility line locating instrument builds on the SR-20 feature set, adding a global positioning system and wireless communication

Technology suitable for South African context

By: Nica Schreuder     13th October 2017 In the quest to mitigate water supply difficulties that have been prevalent in South Africa in the past few years, international engineering consultancy and technology provider Royal HaskoningDHV says its range of innovative wastewater treatment and smart water solutions is relevant in the context. 

SA manufacturers still operating with Third Industrial Revolution models

By: Keith Campbell     13th October 2017 South African industry needs to find ways of adapting and using the technologies driving the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industrial Revolution 4.0) to remain globally competitive yet maintain and create jobs in a high-unemployment environment. So argued productONE MD Charles... 

Analytics helps firms identify pattern deviation to improve cybersecurity

By: Schalk Burger     13th October 2017 Smart analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) can pinpoint pattern deviations and help companies to make informed decisions on where cybersecurity weak points are, as well as how to address them, says information technology (IT) multinational Wipro Cybersecurity and Risk Services-Africa... 

Analytics can mitigate the devastation of pandemics – SAS

By: Schalk Burger     13th October 2017 Access to large volumes of data, computational power to store and analyse the data in real time and sophisticated algorithms that can find patterns in the data and alert authorities to health problems will help to make pandemics less devastating than they have been in the past, SAS Analytics... 

ASSAf awards Fanaroff a gold medal

By: Anine Kilian     11th October 2017 The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has recognised astronomer and former leader of the biggest global science project in Africa, the Square Kilometre Array, Dr Bernie Fanaroff with a gold medal at its annual awards ceremony on October 11. Fanaroff received his PhD in radio-astronomy... 

CSIR seeking to develop new methods to improve local infrastructure production  

By: Keith Campbell     11th October 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) continues to research innovations and initiatives to transform the local construction industry. This was reported by CSIR principal researcher Llewellyn van Wyk at the recent sixth CSIR Conference in Pretoria. He noted that the country has... 

BCX to sell Netcampus subsidiary

     10th October 2017 End-to-end digital solutions provider BCX will sell its information and communications technology (ICT) training solutions subsidiary Netcampus. Netcampus managing executive Tebogo Makgatho will buy a 70% interest and Telkom enterprise development programme Telkom FutureMakers will acquire the... 

MTN appoints new Seagha region VP

By: Anine Kilian     6th October 2017 MTN has appointed Ebenezer Asante VP of its expanded Southern, East Africa and Ghana (Seagha) region. The new Seagha region will comprise the mobile operations in Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, South Sudan, Botswana and Swaziland, as well as the MTN Internet service providers in Kenya, Namibia... 

Company upgrades Verderflex Vantage 5000

     6th October 2017 Pumps products and services provider Verder Liquids, part of the Verder Group, has released a new remote terminal unit (RTU) version of its Verderflex Vantage 5 000 peristaltic pump. The RTU brings easier system integration and real-time communication to form a sophisticated, remotely operated... 

Company upgrades Verderflex Vantage 5000
MODBUS UPGRADE The Verderflex Vantage 5 000 peristaltic pump has recently improved, integrating a Modbus RTU that allows for increased communication and control

Scottish, SA scientists demonstrate entanglement swapping for quantum communications

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2017 A team of Scottish and South African researchers demonstrated that quantum correlations could be established between previously independent photons and that this could be used to send information across a virtual link. In research published in science journal Nature Communications in September,... 

Scottish, SA scientists demonstrate entanglement swapping for quantum communications
Photo by University of the Witswatersrand School of Physics
OAM ENTANGLEMENT RIG Entanglement swapping allows the establishment of entanglement between two distant points

Bolivia and Paraguay sign nuclear cooperation agreements with Russia

By: Keith Campbell     6th October 2017 Russia’s State-owned Rosatom nuclear energy group is to establish a Nuclear Research and Technology Centre (NRTC) in Bolivia. The contract was signed in Vienna, Austria, on September 19, between Rosatom group company State Specialised Design Institute (SSDI) and the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency... 

Geospatial products distributor launches world’s smallest image laser scanner locally

By: Mia Breytenbach     6th October 2017 Geospatial products distributor Aciel Geomatics has officially locally launched the Leica BLK360 imaging laser scanner – the world’s smallest and lightest image laser scanner. Aciel Geomatics, the appointed distributor for Switzerland-based Leica Geosystems AG, launched the scanner at the... 

Geospatial products distributor launches  world’s smallest image laser scanner locally
EASE OF USE The integration of the Leica BLK360 laser image scanner and Autodesk software streamlines the reality capture process

South Africa’s use of nonweapons-grade uranium to produce medical radioisotopes recognised

By: Keith Campbell     6th October 2017 South African company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP), a subsidiary of the State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), has been presented with an Award for Outstanding Achievement by the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), an agency of the US Department of Energy (DoE),... 

Predictive maintenance made portable

     6th October 2017 To detect early signs of component wear or failure in pumps and other mechanical assemblies, vibration sensors and monitoring systems company Monitran, represented locally by manufacturer Instrotech, has designed a portable, rechargeable instrument for measuring vibration levels. The MTN/VM220 is... 

Intra-industry dialogue crucial for components advancement

By: Robyn Wilkinson     6th October 2017 Given the multifaceted nature of South Africa’s automotive sector, intra-industry dialogue and collaboration are crucial to advancing the industry’s ability to provide high-quality products and much-needed employment in a rapidly evolving world, says Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI)... 

Intra-industry dialogue crucial for components advancement
Photo by Bloomberg
KEEPING PACE Advancing education and training in the automotive sector is crucial for keeping up with changes in technology and the local demand for skilled technicians

Local innovation key for growing automotive industry

By: Robyn Wilkinson     6th October 2017 Key to realising the growth potential of South Africa’s automotive sector is local innovation, albeit with due consideration to conditions and operating environments, as local companies are not always able to use international innovations and technologies, says enterprise resource planning (ERP)... 

Local innovation  key for growing automotive industry
PAULO DE MATOS South Africa is no laggard when it comes to the uptake of new technologies, especially in the automotive sector

Supply chain management key to industry success

By: Robyn Wilkinson     6th October 2017 The effective management of financial and physical supply chains is a key differentiator for South African automotive companies wanting to survive in an uncertain market, with access to technologies that can assist in streamlining these functions critical to success, says import and working... 

Supply chain management key to industry success
GREG CLINE Automotive aftermarket imports are growing owing to the depressed state of the economy shifting buying behaviour

Identity verification, authentication service system for SA

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2017 South African identity and biometrics company Ideco has launched an identity assurance ecosystem that is designed to deliver fraud-proof identity authentication confirmed with a digital certificate of authenticity, says Ideco CEO Marius Coetzee. Built on Ideco’s Identity 4.0TM three-way digital... 

Biometrics security risks lie in data vulnerability

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2017 The use of biometrics is growing in the financial services sector, making the security of the technology behind these mechanisms increasingly important. For financial institutions the primary goal of digitisation is making banking simpler and more intuitive for customers, says networking company... 

Fourth Industrial Revolution prioritises innovation – Davies

By: Keith Campbell     5th October 2017 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies has highlighted the challenges being posed to the South African economy, and especially industry, by what is called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. He was delivering the keynote address at the sixth Council for Scientific and Industrial... 

Fourth Industrial Revolution prioritises innovation – Davies
Photo by Duane Daws
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies

Vodacom followed due process in bidding for govt contract – CEO

By: Reuters     5th October 2017 South Africa's mobile operator Vodacom Group followed due process in bidding for a contract to provide mobile services to the government, its chief executive Shameel Joosub said on Wednesday. The Competition Commission said earlier on Wednesday it had started investigating Vodacom, the unit of... 

Manufacturing sector bore brunt of industrial cyberattacks in first half of 2017

By: Schalk Burger     4th October 2017 The manufacturing sector emerged as the hardest hit by cyberattacks during the first half of 2017 as the target of one in every three attacks on industrial control system (ICS) computers, global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said on Wednesday. The Threat Landscape for Industrial Automation... 

Wits appoints CEO for the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct

     3rd October 2017 The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has appointed Lesley Williams CEO of the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct. The precinct is used for the incubation of start-ups, the commercialisation of research and the development of high-level digital skills for students, working... 

Conference to tackle maritime training challenges

By: Anine Kilian     2nd October 2017 Challenges and solutions facing the maritime training sector will be discussed at the first Maritime Education & Training (MET) conference, which will be hosted by the South African International Maritime Institute (Saimi) from November 14 to 17, in Cape Town. The aim of the conference is to find... 

Altron grows UK presence with software reseller acquisition

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2017 JSE-listed information and communication technology (ICT) company Altron, through its subsidiary Bytes UK, has acquired information technology (IT) reseller and solutions provider Phoenix Software. The acquisition has bolstered its presence in the UK value-added reseller market segment and... 

South African space sector needs more support but has to market itself better

By: Keith Campbell     29th September 2017 South Africa's space sector has been hobbled by lack of adequate support from the South African government. This was made clear during a panel discussion on space technology at the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference 2017 in Pretoria on Friday. "Most space programmes, worldwide, have been... 

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