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Science Engineering Technology

Facebook launches Covid-19 information centres in 17 African countries

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th April 2020 Social media platform Facebook has expanded its Covid-19 Information Centre to include another 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. The firm’s information centres aim to provide the latest news and trusted information on Covid-19 at the top of the social media network’s news feed as the virus... 

Gary Kirsten launches online cricket coach education, accreditation programme

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th April 2020 Individuals looking to advance their cricket coach education, or coaches looking for a credible cricket coaching accreditation, are now able to do so through the newly-launched online programme, CoachED, powered by former South African batsman and current coach Gary Kirsten. The exclusive online... 

UiPath donates automation software to healthcare providers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th April 2020 Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company UiPath is donating RPA software to healthcare and public sector organisations across South Africa, until the end of September, to accelerate critical processes and free up strapped employees so they can more rapidly respond to issues arising as a... 

MeerKAT radio telescope array discovers previously unknown phenomenon

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th April 2020 A joint South African/Italian team of astronomers has discovered a new and unexpected phenomenon while using South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array, located in the Karoo region. The scientists were using the extremely sensitive instrument to examine the ESO 137-006 radio galaxy. ESO 137-006... 

EMEA telcos will prevail post Covid-19 crisis, but not unscathed

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th April 2020 The prevailing Covid-19 pandemic is unlikely to lead to many downgrades within the telecommunications industry across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) as rising connectivity demand insulates against the worst economic and credit distress. Some telecommunications companies may hit a “few... 

Energy Vision to deploy purpose-built power systems for base stations in Nigeria, Gabon

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th April 2020 Telecom-focused energy service company Energy Vision is deploying purpose-built power systems for outdoor telecom sites across Nigeria and Gabon. The group ordered Swedish technology company eSite Power Systems’s eSite x10 as it expands its African operations into Nigeria, with additional power... 

Broadband Commission pushes for action to extend Internet access and boost capacity to fight Covid-19

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th April 2020 The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development has adopted an Agenda for Action outlining immediate measures that governments, industry, the international community and civil society can take to ensure a strengthened collective technological response to the Covid-19 crisis. The agenda,... 

Wits researchers propose a simple solution to a geological conundrum

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 Scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Geosciences have proposed an explanation for a phenomenon that has long puzzled geologists. The researchers are Professor Rais Latypov and Dr Sofya Chistyakova and their research has been published in the journal Geology. The puzzle... 

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 The financially-beleaguered South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), which falls under the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), had a new board appointed in late January, to oversee and turnaround the agency. The chairperson of this new board, which has a term of three... 

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

South African school group develops, 3D prints face shields to protect healthcare workers

By: Donna Slater     2nd April 2020 JSE-listed independent education provider Curro Holdings is assisting several healthcare organisations around the country by offering the services of its three-dimensional printers, as well as its staff, to aid in the printing of protective face shields for medical workers currently fighting... 

Stellenbosch University researcher makes sanitiser from stale bread

By: African News Agency      1st April 2020 Researchers at Stellenbosch University say they have discovered how to make hand sanitiser using stale bread crumbs. An experiment conducted by SU food scientist Dr Stefan Hayward, using the university's in-house fermentation tank, yielded 18 litres of alcohol-based sanitiser which could come in... 

Stellenbosch University researcher makes sanitiser from stale bread

Self-sanitising coatings may help curb the spread of Covid-19 in hospitals

By: Donna Slater     1st April 2020 An innovative antimicrobial coating innovation developed locally by the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) researcher and inventor Michael Lucas, could provide a supplementary sanitising solution to help control the spread of the novel coronavirus in hospitals and other medical facilities. The... 

Self-sanitising coatings may help curb the spread of Covid-19 in hospitals
Michael Lucas

Ford partners with GE Healthcare to produce 50 000 ventilators

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 Ford Motor Company and GE Healthcare have partnered to produce 50 000 ventilators within 100 days, at Ford’s Rawsonville components plant, in Michigan, in the US. This follows after the US government set a goal of providing 100 000 ventilators to Covid-19 patients in the country in 100 days.  

Ford partners with GE Healthcare to produce 50 000 ventilators

French company examining the best way of powering the SKA in South Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st March 2020 French company Bertin Energie Environnement (also known, in English, as Bertin Energy & Environment), part of the CNIM group, has launched a study into options for the energy supply for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) core site in South Africa. This study is receiving financial support from the... 

5G poised to aid coronavirus fight

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th March 2020 Fifth-generation (5G) technology will have a critical role to play in the world’s battle against Covid-19. A new white paper produced by advisory firm Deloitte and information and communications technology giant Huawei shows how the effectiveness of communication and data exchange has been... 

Tyre manufacturer building retail markets to secure growth

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 With export and original equipment demand in the automotive industry in Africa growing year on year, it is critical for companies to expand their reach into high-growth markets in Africa to secure long-term growth, says Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop) CEO and National Association... 

Tyre manufacturer building retail markets to secure growth
NEW TYRES The performance standards, wear characteristics and manufacturing requirements of tyres used on electric vehicles are different to those used on internal combustion engine vehicles

Exports can support greater local automotive development

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 Local economic headwinds may potentially be offset by increasing exports under the African Continental Free Trade Area, says industry body National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) CEO Mike Mabasa. The South African automotive industry currently exports to 155... 

Exports can support greater local automotive development
Photo by Donna Slater
QUALITY WORK Ensuring that buyers gain sufficient value and quality of components and services from the value chain drive demand and local manufacturing

Vodacom introduces SMME business funding platform

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th March 2020 Telecommunications giant Vodacom has launched a new small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMME) business funding product that lets business owners apply online for funding and have an answer within four hours. The VodaLend platform, launched by Vodacom Financial Services, aims to help narrow... 

South Africa starts preliminary work on a coronavirus vaccine

By: News24Wire      24th March 2020 South Africa has started work on the development of a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has said. The University of Cape Town, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research as well as the Biological and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa are working... 

Alaris reports triple-digit earnings surge for H1

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th March 2020 JSE-listed Alaris on March 24 posted a surge in earnings for the six months ended December 31 on the back of strong performance by its Alaris Antennas and Cojot business units. The group’s headline earnings a share increased by 256% from 5.42c in the corresponding period last year to 19.27c in... 

Ten-minute coronavirus test for $1 could be game changer

By: , Bloomberg     20th March 2020 Already exhausted from testing for monkeypox and Lassa fever, Nigerian molecular bio-engineer Nnaemeka Ndodo had to work well past midnight earlier this month to find out if six Chinese construction workers were infected with the coronavirus. Ndodo had to collect samples from a hospital an hour... 

South Africa to ramp up test capacity heading into virus storm

By: , Bloomberg     20th March 2020 South Africa plans to ramp up its capacity to test for cases of coronavirus, which is expected to infect as many as 70% of the nation’s inhabitants over time, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said. President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the virus a national disaster on Sunday, closing some borders and... 

Vodacom says spectrum release critical for further data-price cuts

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th March 2020 Telecommunications giant Vodacom plans to reduce its data costs and embark on a programme to enable digital inclusion over the next two years after reaching an agreement with South Africa's Competition Commission. Following the publication of the commission’s ‘Final Findings and Recommendations... 

Moves afoot to 'futureproof' South Africa's drones regulations

By: Donna Slater     20th March 2020 Regulations governing drones, officially referred to as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), have been stagnant since July 2015, when the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) first introduced regulations to formalise the industry.  

Moves afoot to 'futureproof' South Africa's drones regulations

Herotel works to consolidate acquisitions

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th March 2020 Last mile telecommunications group Herotel has kicked off the process of consolidating all of its assets under one brand following a successful acquisition drive. Herotel’s fibre assets and wireless Internet service provider (Wisp) brands will now be merged into a single, scaled-up national... 

ICT industry to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 45% by 2030

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th March 2020 A new International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standard will require the global information and communication technology (ICT) industry to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% from 2020 to 2030. The ITU L.1470 standard puts forward emission-reduction trajectories for operators of... 

Platform established to address water, energy security issues in Southern Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th March 2020 German applied research organisation Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has partnered with Stellenbosch University (SU) to address water, energy and food security challenges in Southern Africa. The organisations’ joint platform is called Fraunhofer Innovation Platform (FIP) and involves four Fraunhofer... 

Digitalisation can rapidly mobilise equipment

By: Tracy Hancock     6th March 2020 Digitisation is playing a limited role in the procurement and mobilisation of construction equipment for capital projects, University of Pretoria (UP) project and quality management senior lecturer Dr Giel Bekker tells Engineering News. “Apart from built-in equipment information and tracking... 

Digitalisation can rapidly mobilise equipment
DIGITAL ENTERPRISE Local construction equipment suppliers are being more enterprising with regard to digital tools compared with renters

Companies urged to embrace disruptive technology

By: Kim Cloete     5th March 2020 Companies and governments have been urged to embrace disruptive technology, as it can contribute to decarbonising energy and make it cleaner, greener and more accessible. Executives and experts attending the Africa Energy Indaba, in Cape Town, this week, outlined huge advances in electric... 

Altron gets green light for Ubusha buyout

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th March 2020   JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron) has secured Competition Commission approval for its R360-million acquisition of identity security company Ubusha Technologies. 

Accelerator to help start-up drone companies launched in Gauteng

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th February 2020 The first drone (unmanned air vehicle) startup accelerator programme in Africa was launched in Katlehong, south east of Johannesburg, on Friday. The programme is being hosted by the Ekurhuleni Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College. The initial programme is a pilot of the... 

Sita sponsors cyberlab at school in rural KZN

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th February 2020 The State Information Technology Agency (Sita) has sponsored an information and communication technology (ICT) laboratory at Manhlenga junior secondary school in Gazini village, in the uMhlabuyalingana local municipality. The sponsorship of a cyberlab for the rural KwaZulu-Natal school, 7km from... 

Pratley in push to increase export sales

By: Schalk Burger     28th February 2020 Electrical terminations specialist company Pratley is having a range of its products recertified, and new products certified in countries to which it exports as part of its drive to grow its exports and diversify the range of products sold in these markets, says Pratley CEO Kim Pratley. Expanding... 

Pratley in push to increase export sales
PERFORMANCE FOCUS The company is having its new products certified, and aims to grow exports

Does nuclear have a future in South Africa?

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th February 2020 Will South Africa ever build a new nuclear power plant (NPP)? Well, and I hope the revelation doesn’t ruin the dramatic flow of my narrative, I haven’t a clue. I don’t think anyone does. There is a lot of opposition to any such idea. Or, rather, there is a lot of opposition to the idea among... 

Cisco unveils multiyear plan for ‘building a new Internet’

By: Schalk Burger     28th February 2020 Information, communication and networking equipment and software multinational Cisco’s long-term technology strategy is based on development and investments in the three key technology areas of silicon, optics and software for building a new Internet, Cisco chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins says.... 

National budget funds major science, technology and higher education projects

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th February 2020 Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has welcomed the allocations made to his departments (Higher Education and Training, and Science and Innovation) in the 2020 national budget. The budget assigns R396-billion to the two departments. Two major initiatives are being... 

National budget funds major science, technology and higher education projects
Photo by Donna Slater/Creamer Media
Dr Blade Nzimande

Deere taps tractor-hailing tech in bid to break ground in Africa

By: Reuters     25th February 2020 It's ride-hailing, farm style. Deere & Co is teaming up with the "Uber of tractors" in Africa and betting on a future where farmers summon machines with the touch of a button. The world's leading farm equipment maker is outfitting its tractors with startup Hello Tractor's technology, which allows... 

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