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Information Technology News

Laser tech key to developing economy

By: Tracy Hancock     28th August 2020 It is vital that South Africa has an in-depth understanding of the impact photonics-based technologies will have on its economic development, as they underpin the communication systems and sensors needed to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The country also needs to ensure that it can... 

Sendmarc seeks to help healthcare sector in fight against phishing attacks

By: Schalk Burger     27th August 2020 Email, anti-phishing and domain protection cybersecurity company Sendmarc will, in September, launch a new programme to help protect the medical sector against phishing attacks. Phishing attacks − fraudulent communications aimed at gathering information or spreading malware − against healthcare... 

Blue Label returns to black in 2020, Cell C recap to be concluded this year

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th August 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms has successfully turned around its earnings for the year ended May 31, 2020, as Cell C’s recapitalisation deal discussions continue. Cell C’s lengthy recapitalisation deal is likely to be concluded this year, with a term sheet expected in due course, said Blue Label... 

Network slicing key to monetising 5G networks

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th August 2020 Fifth-generation (5G) networks 5G, with their built-in programmability and advanced capabilities, will drive new monetisation opportunities for service providers; however, network slicing will be key. “Moving from the traditional third- or fourth-generation one-size-fits-all approach to one based... 

Starbucks clients can now trace their coffee, and so can farmers

By: Bloomberg     26th August 2020 Starbucks Corp fans can now trace their coffee. And so can farmers, who will know for the first time where their beans end up. Starting Tuesday, customers buying coffee at Starbucks stores across the US will be able to use a code on the bags to find out where their beans came from, where they... 

Vodacom Group appoints Raisibe Morathi as Group CFO

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th August 2020 Telecommunications giant Vodacom has appointed Raisibe Morathi as its new Group CFO, effective November 1. Morathi, who is joining Vodacom from Nedbank Group, where she was the Group CFO since 2009, is the successor to Till Streichert, who left the position in June. 

Covid-19 impacts business landscape in the steel manufacturing industry, says Macsteel

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th August 2020 African manufacturer, merchandiser and distributor of steel and value-added products Macsteel is planning to leverage on technology to sustain its business growth as part of its post-Covid-19 business continuity plan. This after the spread of Covid-19 created business disruption around the world,... 

Nival Porun
Nival Porun

Blue Label expects significant rise in 2020 earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th August 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms expects to swing back into the black during the year ended May 31, 2020. The group’s trading statement indicates that earnings per share will increase between 740.97c and 742.42c apiece to between 13.16c and 14.6c in the year under review. 

Phishing attacks in Africa diversify, target small companies

By: Schalk Burger     21st August 2020 Phishing attacks – a type of social engineering digital attack – are becoming increasingly more targeted in Africa, especially at small companies, says cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky security expert Tatyana Sidorina. Security solutions detected 2.02-million phishing attacks in South... 

Reliable infrastructure needed to meet fibre demand  

By: Halima Frost     21st August 2020 With physical distancing encouraged amid Covid-19, the need for reliable fibre connectivity and infrastructure has increased, says open access network provider Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) strategy, mergers and acquisitions and innovation executive Vino Govender.  “We have seen a significant increase... 

Enabling a high-speed digital world where innovations and meaningful connections prosper. Connecting Africans to each other and to the world
Dark Fibre Africa strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and innovation executive Vino Govender discusses the increased demand for bandwidth and data during Covid-19. Camerawork: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 23.07.2020

Mupita appointed as MTN group president and CEO

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th August 2020 MTN Group CFO Ralph Mupita has been appointment as successor for group president and CEO Rob Shuter, effective September 1. Shuter will step down from his executive responsibilities on August 31 and will provide support until the end of his fixed-term contract early next year. 

DTIC establishes Botshabelo Digital Hub site in Mangaung

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th August 2020 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) has established a digital hub in the Botshabelo Industrial Park, in Mangaung, in the Free State, as part of a programme to bolster digital training and create jobs. The revitalised Botshabelo Digital Hub site is one of ten digital hubs... 

Tech crucial to market sales in local industry

By: Cameron Mackay     14th August 2020 Automation solutions provider MACmobile MD Andrew Dawson stresses that technology that offers mobility, automation and the ability to engage customers while maintaining social distance will be crucial to driving market sales in the local industry. “The key technology at this stage is mobility –... 

What’s important is enabling retailers, with their own methodology software-wise, to generate orders and use the call centres to create new sales and awareness
ANDREW DAWSON What’s important is enabling retailers, with their own methodology software-wise, to generate orders and use the call centres to create new sales and awareness

Steel awards go virtual

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The South African Institute for Steel Construction’s (SAISC’s) yearly Steel Awards will be judged and hosted virtually through a dedicated application (app) this year. This comes on the back of efforts to mitigate restrictions on social gatherings and take advantage of the digital marketing... 

Small teams of judges attend sites physically, observing Covid-19 health and safety protocols, while others attend site visits virtually
VIRTUOSITY ASSESSED Small teams of judges attend sites physically, observing Covid-19 health and safety protocols, while others attend site visits virtually

Etion widens losses

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th August 2020 JSE-listed Etion has reported a significant widening of its loss after tax for the year ended March 31, on the back of economic weakness, one-off restructuring costs and write-offs and impairments. The group posted a 1 237% plunge in loss after tax, from a loss of R2.7-million in the prior year... 

Cassava, Liquid Telecom launches Sasai WiFi Finder

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th August 2020 Cassava Fintech International (CFI) and Liquid Telecom Group (LTG) have teamed up to develop a service aimed at accelerating digital and financial inclusion in Africa. Through the newly launched Sasai WiFi Finder, the duo plan to establish an expansive network of data access points across Africa... 

DeepMind grants first postgraduate AI scholarships at Stellenbosch University 

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2020 London-based artificial intelligence (AI) research and application company DeepMind has awarded eight scholarships for postgraduate studies in the fields of applied mathematics, statistics, electrical and electronic engineering and computer science at Stellenbosch University (SU). The DeepMind... 

Presidential Commission Report on 4IR to head to Cabinet 

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th August 2020 The Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is set to present to Cabinet after President Cyril Ramaphosa received its landmark report on the recommendations to harness the available 4IR opportunities. The report was presented by Communications and Digital Technologies... 

Embedded, distributed generation will create jobs, enhance energy security

By: Schalk Burger     7th August 2020 Allowing for the greater development of embedded and distributed generation assets will help to create and sustain jobs, as well as bolster energy security and business continuity, says economic development advisory company ED Platform head of strategy and growth Maloba Tshehla. Embedded... 

FTI launches ESG diagnostic tool to expand compliance

By: Donna Slater     6th August 2020 The strategic communications division of NYSE-listed business advisory firm FTI Consulting strengthened its environment social governance (ESG) and sustainability practice with the official launch of the ESG Compass on August 5. ESG Compass is a distinctive diagnostic tool that maps a company’s... 

MTN to exit Middle East markets, focus on Africa 

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th August 2020 Telecommunications giant MTN is planning to exit its Middle East markets over the medium term as it turns its focus solely to its African markets. The group’s renewed focus on the future of its pan-African strategy forms part of its ongoing portfolio review programme. 

MTN Group president and CEO Rob Shuter
MTN Group president and CEO Rob Shuter discusses MTN’s planned exit from its Middle East markets.

South African stakeholders to bring together partners for AI development discussions

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th August 2020 Academia, private sector and civil society have signed an Expression of Interest (EoI) aimed at bringing together experts to lead the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in South Africa and establish an internationally aligned AI institute. Inked during the virtual AI Dialogue South... 

Microsoft invests R40m into South Africa’s agricultural sector

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th August 2020 Microsoft South Africa plans to invest up to R40-million to bolster the use of technology as an enabler to tackle the challenges facing South Africa’s agriculture sector. The investment aims to drive sustainability in the agriculture sector for South Africa’s smallholder farmers, which have... 

New property developments add resiliency to industry in face of Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     3rd August 2020 JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust (Reit) Redefine Properties says accelerating trends like e-commerce and data centres are adding resiliency to industrial property against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The company points out that, as people’s daily lives move online,... 

Redefine industrial national asset manager Johann Nell
Redefine industrial national asset manager Johann Nell

MTN Nigeria posts strong first-half growth, despite decline in earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th July 2020 Telecommunications group MTN Nigeria has reported strong growth in its key revenue lines for the six months ended June 30. Service revenue increased by 12.6% to N637-billion, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) grew by 8.2% to N327.1-billion during the... 

Africa50 shortlists 7 in first Innovation Challenge

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th July 2020 Seven finalists have been shortlisted from 673 applicants in the inaugural African50 Innovation Challenge. Launched in May 2019, the Innovation Challenge aimed to crowdsource innovative solutions that can improve last-mile connectivity to increase access to reliable and affordable Internet in... 

JSE fines EOH R7.5m for prior incorrect financial statements

By: Schalk Burger     29th July 2020 The JSE on July 29 imposed a R7.5-million fine on information technology services multinational EOH for the material errors and inaccuracies contained in its 2017 and 2018 financial statements, but has suspended R2.5-million of the fine for a period of five years. EOH, in a July 29 statement,... 

Researchers build AI tool capable of identifying individual birds

By: Schalk Burger     27th July 2020 New research demonstrates for the first time that artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to train computers to recognise individual birds; a task humans are unable to do. Researchers from the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, based at the University of Cape Town (UCT); the French... 

MTN to report higher first-half earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th July 2020 JSE-listed MTN expects to post a triple-digit climb in earnings for the six months ended June 30. The telecommunications group anticipates earnings per share (EPS) to be more than 592c for the six months under review, a rise of 345 c or 140% on the 247c reported in the corresponding six months... 

New technology offers effective communication  

By: Halima Frost     24th July 2020 Blockchain solution provider DoshEx’s newest offering, Sherlock blockchain, is adapted for project managers and engineers to effectively communicate within a communal ecosystem. DoshEx CEO Alex de Bruyn explains that the Sherlock network combines the Internet of Things (IoT), distributed document... 

Sherlock provides a smart contract management network using blockchain and distributed technology
DoshEx CEO Alex de Bruyn discusses the use of its Sherlock blockchain solution in the project management sector. Camerawork: Halima Frost. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 25.06.2020

EOH, Risk Insights bringing digital education solution to South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     23rd July 2020 Information technology services multinational EOH, in collaboration with risk management advisory and consultancy company Risk Insights, is making good progress on EOH’s commitment to help solve South Africa’s educational challenges by introducing a globally recognised digital education solution... 

Report identifies effective digital response to Covid-19 in Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd July 2020 A digital response using proven digital innovation can help the African continent curb the spread, strengthen resilience and better address the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, the health, economic and social impact of Covid-19 across Africa continues to evolve. 

Telkom migrating customers from copper to fibre

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd July 2020 Information and communications technology group Telkom is underway with its migration from copper-based asymmetric digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet to new-generation fibre technology for customers in all fibre-ready regions across South Africa. The switch from copper to fibre where current... 

Datatec reduces operating costs as revenues tread slightly down

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st July 2020 Information and communications technology group Datatec reported slightly lower group revenues for the period from March to June compared with the revenues for the four months ended June 30, 2019. However, significantly lower operating costs during the period under review boosted operating... 

MTN opens academic element of yearly App of Year Awards

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th July 2020 Telecommunications group MTN hopes to build an ecosystem of budding problem-solving entrepreneurs and businesspeople as it introduces an academic element to the 2020 edition of the MTN Business App of the Year. The MTN Business App of the Year Awards, now in its ninth year, will see the... 

SU Data School launches data science academy

By: Schalk Burger     17th July 2020 Stellenbosch University's (SU's) new School for Data Science and Computational Thinking has opened the African Data Science Academy (ADSA) and is offering two courses in July. "Many universities across the world have identified data science as a very important discipline, because of the data-rich... 

Crosscall Mobile launches new range of devices, with industry first three-year warranty

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th July 2020 France-headquartered outdoor mobile technology specialist Crosscall has launched a new range of rugged and durable mobile devices in South Africa, all equipped with an industry-first three-year warranty. The latest suite of devices from the French brand include three new smartphones and a tablet,... 

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