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Technology & Communications News

World’s first satellite mass-production plant opened in the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd July 2019 Europe-based major aerospace group Airbus and US-based global internet communications company OneWeb have announced that their joint venture, OneWeb Satellites, officially opened the world’s first-ever high-speed and high-volume satellite production facility on Monday. The facility is located at... 

South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope solves astronomical conundrum

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd July 2019 The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (Sarao), which is one of the National Research Foundation’s facilities, announced on Monday that the country’s MeerKAT radio telescope array had made a major scientific discovery, solving a decades-old astronomical riddle. The discovery, published as... 

South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope solves astronomical conundrum
Photo by Serra/Sarao
MeerKAT image of NGC 1316/Fornax A (the bright object in the centre of the picture) superimposed on a visual image of the same region from the Italo-Dutch Fornax Deep Survey, showing hydrogen gas concentrations (the green blobs), with the two hydrogen gas tails indicated by the curved lines

Further info on spectrum policy to be communicated in due course

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd July 2019 The much-anticipated policy direction on unassigned high-demand spectrum has been finalised. The policy is now undergoing “requisite processes” prior to publication, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies said in a statement. 

Jasco’s Reflex dispute settled favourably

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2019 A dispute challenging JSE-listed Jasco Electronics' majority ownership of Reflex Solutions by the latter’s minority shareholders has been concluded, with an arbitrator having ruled in favour of Jasco. The arbitrator ruled that the cancellation by the minority shareholders of the sale of shares... 

Industry 4.0 the main focus at KITE

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     19th July 2019 The KwaZulu-Natal Industrial Technology Exhibition (KITE) – which will be held at the Durban Exhibition Centre on July 24 to 26, 2019 – continues to adopt an increased focus on Industry 4.0, particularly its impact on the market and manufacturing, says organiser Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery... 

Industry 4.0 the main focus at KITE
INFORMATION OVERLOAD The SAIMechE Seminar Theatre will have speaking slots during which various Industry 4.0 topics will be discussed

Rolls-Royce ‘IntelligentEngine’ civil aerospace initiative advancing

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th July 2019 UK-based global major power plant manufacturer Rolls-Royce has reported that its the “IntelligentEngine” philosophy (also referred to as a vision) is making strong progress throughout its Civil Aerospace products and services “portfolio”, powerfully driven by the capabilities of digital... 

Logistics company invests in facilities

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     19th July 2019 Logistics company Bidvest Panalpina Logistics (BPL) has implemented several large-scale infrastructure development plans at its KwaZulu-Natal-based operations. This includes building a new state-of-the-art chemicals and general cargo warehouse in Mobeni, Durban, and taking over premises in... 

Logistics company invests in facilities
MARIA DU PREEZ The Project Thrill programme aims to review and enhance operational and financial processes, retrain staff and establish new key performance indicators

‘Liveness’ testing makes biometrics more effective

By: Schalk Burger     19th July 2019 As consumption and business models become more digital and mobile, there is a need for authentication that does not hobble the user experience while providing robust security measures. Biometrics is an effective way of providing security without negatively impacting on user experience. However,... 

‘Liveness’ testing makes biometrics more effective
LANCE FANAROFF Biometrics improves information and registration systems and can help limit damage done by organised crime

How technology is starting to change logistics ecosystems

By: Schalk Burger     19th July 2019 New technologies being applied to supply chains – helping to digitalise them further – can provide significant intelligence that will improve control and streamline business processes. This will be grounded in more real-time information and predictions based on analytical outputs of the data,... 

How technology is starting to change logistics ecosystems

South African radio astronomer elected to highly prestigious scientific body 

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th July 2019 South African radio astronomer Dr Bernie Fanaroff has been inducted as a Fellow of the very prestigious Royal Society, at a ceremony in London. He headed SKA South Africa (SKA SA) from 2003 to 2015, directing South Africa’s involvement in, and contribution to, the international Square Kilometre... 

South African radio astronomer elected to highly prestigious scientific body
Photo by Sarao
Dr Bernie Fanaroff

MTN appoints new group chief digital, fintech officer

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th July 2019 Telecommunications giant MTN has appointed Yolanda Cuba group chief digital and fintech officer to lead the strategic expansion of the company’s financial services and digital solutions and transformation into a digital operator. She joins MTN from Vodacom, where she served as the chief officer... 

CIPC to implement key iXBRL Phase 2 changes by Oct 1

By: Nadine James     17th July 2019 It has been about a year since the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) rolled out an automated mechanism to regulate financial reporting disclosures and compliance, becoming the first regulator to do a full-scale implementation of inLine eXtensible Business Reporting Language... 

Altron reviewing options as City of Tshwane contract is set aside

By: Nadine James     17th July 2019 Allied Electronics Corporation (Altron) is considering its potential next steps after a broadband contract between the City of Tshwane and a special purpose vehicle (SPV) involving its Altron Nexus subsidiary was set aside by a court. The Gauteng High Court, in Pretoria, on Tuesday, approved the... 

Radical plan to stem Necsa losses proposed and then withdrawn by board  

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th July 2019 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation suffered cumulative losses of R257.78-million in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years and is expected to announce an even larger loss of R294.27-million for 2018/19, resulting in cumulative losses of R552.05-million for the three-year period. The... 

Radical plan to stem Necsa losses proposed and then withdrawn by board
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An aerial view of Necsa’s Pelindaba complex

EOH says bribery, corruption limited to a few individuals, subsidiaries 

By: Schalk Burger     16th July 2019 JSE-listed information technology services company EOH on Tuesday revealed the preliminary findings of a forensic investigation conducted by legal firm ENSafrica into suspected bribery and corruption at the R18-billion-a-year-turnover company. EOH CEO Stephen van Coller said the scale of the... 

EOH says bribery, corruption limited to a few individuals, subsidiaries
EOH CEO Stephen van Coller

International AIV consortium completes work ahead of SKA construction

By: Simone Liedtke     12th July 2019 The international engineering consortium tasked with planning the assembly, integration and verification (AIV) of the SKA radio telescope has formally completed its work, representing another crucial step towards the construction of the world’s largest radio telescope. The work completed by the... 

Heavy haul industry business models to be modelled under 4IR – Monakali

By: Simone Liedtke     12th July 2019 The official 40-page-long International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) Vision 2030 Strategy will be published next month. The strategy, which took about 15 months to compile, is expected to unpack what the future will look like for the global heavy haul industry in terms of customer experience,... 

Heavy haul industry business models to be modelled under 4IR – Monakali
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Transnet Freight Rail GM Brian Monakali

Blue Label moves to assure market on Cell C

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th July 2019 Embattled JSE-listed Blue Label is working to assure investors that mobile operator Cell C is able to operate as required and that no material concerns have emerged as a result of the new management’s “deep dive” into the operator’s business practices. Earlier this week, Cell C interim CEO... 

New combustion emission monitoring equipment offered to Africa

By: Cameron Mackay     12th July 2019 Mining, industrial and processing solutions provider RTS Africa Technologies is the exclusive supplier of laser-based online gas analysers and monitoring recording equipment, from Norwegian company NEO Monitors; as well as, more recently, a range of both multiple channel and portable instruments,... 

New combustion emission monitoring equipment offered to Africa
IAN FRASER South Africa needs to grasp the new wave of global automation more firmly

2019 White Paper sets objectives for science, technology and innovation

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th July 2019 The 2019 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation, approved by the Cabinet on 13 March, was necessary because the previous White Paper on Science and Technology had been adopted in 1996 and global technological change and the development of "megatrends" since then required an updated... 

Bank bails Denel out amid union demand for action on irregularities

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th July 2019 The spokesperson for Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Adrian Lackay, has clarified to “Engineering News” that the lender who came to the assistance of beleaguered State-owned defence industrial group Denel, allowing it to pay its staff their full salaries for this month, was “a... 

CSIR doubles down on solar PV amid energy-autonomous campus success

By: Dylan Slater     12th July 2019 The Pretoria-based headquarters of research organisation the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has almost doubled its commissioning of solar photovoltaic (PV) installed capacity because of its rooftop-mounted fixed-axis solar PV plant exceeding initial performance expectations.  

CSIR doubles down on solar PV amid energy-autonomous campus success

Product series launched for rail industry

12th July 2019 Telecommunications and data company Telegärtner’s range of connectors for railway and vehicle applications has been expanded with the introduction of a new product series. The company explains that, an add-on to the previous M12 connector series, the new series contains M12x1 X-coded connectors... 

Company’s online shop offers various connectors

12th July 2019 Electric utility company Igus is expanding its services with an online shop for connectors where if cables are to be harnessed, then the matching connector can be found quickly, but often cannot be ordered in small quantities from the manufacturer. 

STX distributors introduced to the market

12th July 2019 Telecommunications equipment supplier Jasco’s Webb Industries has introduced cable connectors manufacturer and distributor Telegärtner’s new, modular rail-mount fibre optic distributor, STX distributor, which can be extended according to actual needs. 

Flexible modular drive system added to range

By: Cameron Mackay     12th July 2019 Automation solutions provider Schneider Electric has added the new Altivar Process Modular (APM) drive system to its range of Altivar Process variable-speed drives (VSDs), which were displayed at the company’s stand at the Africa Automation Fair, held in Johannesburg last month. “This is a... 

Flexible modular drive system  added to range
DRIVE FOR FLEXIBLE LOADS The APM drive system provides flexibility for end-users in terms of late changes to the load in the design and installation phase of a project

Automation of business processes to change expectations and services

By: Schalk Burger     12th July 2019 New methods of rapidly and accurately delivering services using robotic process automation (RPA) is driving a shift in the expectations of end-users and, similar to other automation innovations, will underpin a change in economies, says RPA multinational UiPath chief strategy officer Vargha... 

Enterprise software spending to grow faster than general IT spending in 2019 – Gartner

By: Schalk Burger     11th July 2019 While global spend on information technology (IT) is projected to grow by only about 0.6% to $3.74-trillion this year, the enterprise software market will growth by an estimated 9% to $457-billion, IT market research and consulting multinational Gartner research VP John-David Lovelock said this... 

South African ports ‘need to evolve’ – specialist

By: Simone Liedtke     11th July 2019 South Africa’s ports will need to evolve into a more entrepreneurial ports system, instead of being facilitators of trade, in order to continue trading in a world often characterised as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, Transnet National Ports Authority logistics supply chain specialist... 

South African ports ‘need to evolve’ – specialist
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Transnet National Ports Authority logistics supply chain specialist Lwandile Mabuza

Port operators’ 4IR strategies must have skills development focus

By: Simone Liedtke     11th July 2019 African port operators need to formulate Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) strategies and should take into account the skills readiness and the skills development required to adjust and adapt accordingly, Transnet National Ports Authority research and development senior specialist Thamsanqa Basi... 

Port operators’ 4IR strategies must have skills development focus
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Transnet National Ports Authority research and development senior specialist Thamsanqa Basi

BEE commission says MTN scheme contrary to objectives of empowerment law

By: African News Agency      11th July 2019 South Africa's Broad-based Black Economic Empowement (B-BBEE) Commission said on Thursday a probe initiated in 2017 into mobile communications company MTN's Zakhele-Futhi scheme had found it to be contrary to the objectives of the B-BBEE Act. In a statement, the commission said it had issued... 

Cell C seeks debt payment delay

By: Bloomberg     11th July 2019 South African wireless carrier Cell C has begun talks to delay debt payments and hired consultants to probe its business practices and advise on a restructuring, sending shares in its biggest investor, Blue Label Telecoms, to a decade low. Cell C is laboring under R8.9-billion of debt and trying... 

Spectrum policy to be released within 7 days

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th July 2019 After years-long delays, the now-urgent final policy directive on spectrum allocation will be issued to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) within the next seven working days. The announcement by Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams... 

Spectrum policy to be released within 7 days
Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Bloodhound high-speed testing set for mid-October start

By: Nadine James     10th July 2019 The Bloodhound supersonic car will participate in a high-speed testing programme at Hakskeenpan, in the Northern Cape, between mid-October and mid-November this year. The car is expected to reach speeds in excess 800 km/h, as part of the Bloodhound team’s larger objective of beating the current... 

Bloodhound high-speed testing set for mid-October start
Photo by Creamer Media
Andy Green

Nzimande announces help for technology innovators

By: African News Agency      9th July 2019 Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday his department has made progress towards setting up a fund that will ease the risk of bringing new technological innovations onto the market. Nzimande told a media briefing in Cape Town the fund would receive... 

Nzimande announces help for technology innovators
Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande

Royal Academy of Engineering invites Africa Prize entries

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2019 The Royal Academy of Engineering has invited entries for its Africa Prize for Engineering. The prize aims to stimulate, celebrate and reward innovation and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Royal Academy of Engineering invites Africa Prize entries
Neo Hutiri (right) was the 2019 winner of the Africa Prize for Engineering

MTN retains the crown as South Africa’s ‘best mobile network’

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th July 2019 Telecommunications giant MTN has once again secured the title of South Africa’s best mobile network in the MyBroadband Insights quarterly ‘Mobile Network Quality’ report. The 2019 second-quarter report ranks South Africa's mobile networks on a network quality score. 

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