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Technology & Communications News

Telkom CFO Molefe resigns

By: Reuters     4th December 2020 South African mobile network operator Telkom SA said on Friday Tsholofelo Molefe has resigned as the group CFO to pursue other interests. Dirk Reyneke, current CFO of Openserve - the wholesale connectivity division of Telkom - will take over the position of acting group CFO, effective December... 

Visa adds partner toolkit, new fintechs to fast-track programme to help restore global economy

By: Schalk Burger     4th December 2020 As money management becomes increasingly digital, fintechs play a pivotal role in helping to restore and rebuild the global economy, says global payments and financial services company Visa. Visa has added a new Partner Toolkit and Visa Ready Fintech Enabler certification to its Fast Track... 

Large-scale IoT use can improve services, quality of life and resource efficiency

By: Schalk Burger     4th December 2020 Broad use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and systems to support every day civil and business functions can reduce waste and improve speed and efficiency, while large-scale uses, such as infrastructure and utility use monitoring and asset management can provide significant benefits to society... 

Renowned US radio telescope to be decommissioned due to structural instability

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th December 2020 The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that the world-renowned Arecibo Observatory, in the US territory of Puerto Rico, is to be decommissioned after 57 years of operation. The decommissioning is the result of structural weaknesses that have been discovered after a support cable... 

New real-time monitoring system enhances safety

4th December 2020 Automotive and truck parts manufacturer Bridgestone in collaboration with technology company Microsoft has developed a unique and innovative monitoring system to detect tyre damage issues in real-time. Bridgestone Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and Africa (EMIA) CEO and president Laurent... 

New real-time monitoring system enhances safety
DAMAGE CONTROL The Tyre Damage Monitoring System uses algorithms to detect and predict failures before they become catastrophic

Digital agriculture to assist sugar growers

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 The South African Sugar Research Institute (Sasri), a division of the South African Sugar Association (Sasa), is focusing its research and technological development on digital agriculture to support canegrowers in decision-making, in their choice of cane varieties, to establish more accurate crop... 

Digital agriculture to assist sugar growers
PESKY PROBLEM The Eldana saccharina larvae bore into sugar cane and can ruin entire crops

Wits, York University to develop AI Covid-19 project

By: Sane Dhlamini     3rd December 2020 The University of the Witwatersrand has teamed up with York University, in Canada to undertake an artificial intelligence project that will be used to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in Africa. The project will be carried out by the Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Public Health Data... 

Wits, York University to develop AI Covid-19 project

“Adapt or Die” – enter the API economy

3rd December 2020 The world is converging, and this convergence is increasingly held together by the API environment. APIs – Application Programming Interfaces – are much talked about, but not always well understood. So let’s begin at the beginning. APIs are pieces of software which define and automate... 

“Adapt or Die” – enter the API economy

EOH cuts debt as it approaches end of restructuring

By: Schalk Burger     2nd December 2020 Information technology services firm EOH has narrowed its headline loss a share for the year ended July 31 by 72% year-on-year to 495c. It reported on December 2 that it had also reduced its gross debt by 20% to R2.6-billion. 

Altron releases Bytes UK prelisting statement

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd December 2020 As Allied Electronics (Altron) continues its strategy to unbundle and list its UK subsidiary Bytes Technology Group separately on the London Stock Exchange, with a secondary listing on the JSE, the group has released its abridged prelisting statement for the proposed offer of ordinary shares of... 

Renowned Arecibo radio telescope collapses

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd December 2020 The feared but expected collapse of the famed Arecibo radio telescope, in the US territory of Puerto Rico, happened just before 08:00 Tuesday local time (just before 14:00 South African time). Fortunately, there were no injuries. Located in a natural hollow, Arecibo’s dish was spherical, not... 

Renowned Arecibo radio telescope collapses
Photo by University of Central Florida
The Arecibo radio telescope, photographed after the first main cable break in November but before the fall of the suspended instrument platform. Damage to the dish is clearly visible.

Herotel reaches 100k fixed broadband customer mark

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st December 2020 Fibre and fixed wireless broadband provider Herotel has reached the milestone of 100 000 fixed broadband subscribers on its fibre and fixed wireless networks. The group, which was started in 2014, deployed its own fibre networks, targeting non-metropolitan, underserviced areas across South Africa... 

IT, OT cybersecurity gaps must be closed as industrial digital transformation advances

By: Schalk Burger     30th November 2020 Companies are optimising their development, production and logistics processes based on operational and status data. As a result, industrial control systems lose their previously insular position once production machines are networked. The increased adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) and big... 

European Space Agency announces contract for removal of orbital debris

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th November 2020 The European Space Agency (ESA) is contracting Swiss start-up company ClearSpace to remove a piece of space debris from orbit, in a deal worth €86-million. The will be both the first ever mission to remove orbiting space debris and the first time ESA has contracted a private-sector company to... 

Moody's downgrades Telkom's credit rating following sovereign rating action

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th November 2020 Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded telecommunications group Telkom’s corporate family rating to Ba2, from Ba1, with a negative outlook. This followed Moody’s downgrading of South Africa’s sovereign rating by one notch to Ba2 with a negative outlook on November 20. 

Indaba aims to encourage sector growth

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2020 Revitalising and growing manufacturers is the theme of this year’s Manufacturing Indaba, which aims to get the South African manufacturing industry stakeholders together to unpack the way forward towards growing their businesses. This year’s event was originally slated to take place on June 9 and... 

Indaba aims to  encourage sector growth
THIS TIME IT’S VIRTUAL This year’s Manufacturing Indaba will be entirely virtual and, therefore, free to attend

UK funds study into space-based solar power

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th November 2020 The British government has commissioned a study into the engineering and economic practicality of space-based solar power (SBSP) systems. More specifically, the study – the value of which has not been released – has been jointly commissioned by the UK Space Agency and the Department for Business,... 

Pneumatic breakers increase efficiency and productivity

27th November 2020 The powerful, lightweight and ergonomic RTEX and TEX pneumatic breaker ranges from industrial equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco exemplify abalance between high performance and high comfort, says Atlas Copco portable products business line manager David Stanford. 

Pneumatic breakers increase efficiency and productivity
RTEX PNEUMATIC BREAKERS The breakers have a breaking power that matches much heavier top class 30 to 35 kg breakers

Forge Academy launches AI lab in Johannesburg

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th November 2020 Nokia-powered education facility Forge Academy has unveiled a fully inclusive artificial intelligence (AI) laboratory in Johannesburg. The laboratory, based at The Gantry, in Fourways, aims to equip students with theoretical, laboratory and on-the-job training for the Fourth Industrial Revolution... 

McAfee reports increase in cyberattacks amid Covid-19 lockdowns

By: Schalk Burger     25th November 2020 Cybersecurity multinational McAfee's 'Quarterly Threats' report shows that there were nearly 7.5-million external attacks on cloud user accounts during the second quarter of this year across all major industries globally, including financial services, healthcare, public sector, education, retail,... 

Fund helps South African universities unlock benefits of homegrown IP 

By: Donna Slater     25th November 2020 Since its inception in February, the University Technology Fund (UTF) has approved six investments. Technology and innovation incubated in South Africa’s universities is, as a result, being commercialised and a step closer to commercialisation, creating significant economic, investment and job... 

Fund helps South African universities unlock benefits of homegrown IP
SA SME Fund CEO Ketso Gordhan

Etion H1 earnings contract

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th November 2020 JSE-listed Etion reported a decline in net profit to R4.9-million for the six months ended September 30, 2020, from R5.4-million reported in the corresponding six months last year. The group’s profit before tax increased by 45% from R5.4-million in the first half of 2019 to R7.9-million during... 

New sea-level monitoring satellite successfully launched

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd November 2020 The European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) sea-level monitoring Sentinel-6 satellite was successfully placed in orbit over the weekend, after being launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in the US State of California on one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets. The Sentinel-6 has, unusually for a satellite, a... 

New sea-level monitoring satellite successfully launched

UN leveraging new technology for peacekeeping missions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd November 2020 The UN is introducing new technologies to assist in its peacekeeping operations, says UN Support Office in Somalia supply chain management service chief Herbert Pechek. Some of the elements of the UN’s programme are arms control, cease fire monitoring, elections, enforcement and combat, public... 

Famed US radio telescope to be decommissioned due to structural instability

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th November 2020 The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that the world-renowned Arecibo Observatory, in the US territory of Puerto Rico, is to be decommissioned after 57 years of operation. The decommissioning is the result of structural weaknesses that have been discovered after a support cable... 

Famed US radio telescope to be decommissioned due to structural instability
Photo by University of Central Florida
A recent photograph of the Arecibo radio telescope; the damage to the dish is clearly apparent

Stronger advocacy needed to protect European business interests

By: Darren Parker     20th November 2020 The impact of Covid-19 on South Africa and Italy has highlighted the need for strong action to ensure that European business interests are protected in South Africa, according to a statement by Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries (ItalchamSA) secretary-general Pamina Bohrer... 

Stronger advocacy needed to protect European business interests
PAMINA BOHRER European business interests need to be protected in South Africa

Scientists discover more evidence that, in the past, women were hunters and fighters

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th November 2020   American archaeologists and anthropologists, supported by forensic scientists and physicists, have made a striking and theory-upsetting discovery in the Peruvian Andes. They uncovered the 9 000-year-old grave of a hunter – who was a woman. The burial site is located high in the Andes at a place... 

SA urged to pursue cybersecurity frameworks based on global best practice

By: Schalk Burger     20th November 2020 The data that public and private organisations capture and use, as well as its sensitivity, risk, and protection, are central not only to international best practices of cybersecurity, but also to laws and regulation. Information and communication technology (ICT) and law experts indicate that... 

SA urged to pursue cybersecurity frameworks based on global best practice

Communications satellite megaconstellation company about to exit bankruptcy protection

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th November 2020 In a webinar hosted by the Washington Space Business Roundtable in the US, small satellite megaconstellation broadband connectivity company OneWeb VP: Regulatory Affairs Ruth Pritchard-Kelly stated on Wednesday that the enterprise should exit bankruptcy protection “any day now”. The company,... 

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon successfully docks at space station on its first regular mission

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th November 2020 The space capsule Resilience successfully has docked with the International Space Station (ISS), some 27 hours and 30 minutes after its launch from the US State of Florida. The spacecraft is executing the first ever regular, certified, commercial crewed flight, carrying four astronauts to the... 

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon successfully docks at space station on its first regular mission
Photo by Nasa TV
The Crew Dragon capsule Resilience docked with the ISS

Liquid Telecom, Zayo partner to expand global network coverage

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th November 2020 Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom and communications infrastructure leader Zayo Group have partnered to leverage their existing networks for customers that have operations in Africa, Europe and North America. This partnership will see the duo add value for their customers through the use... 

UK funds study into space-based solar power

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th November 2020 The British government has commissioned a study into the engineering and economic practicality of space-based solar power (SBSP) systems. More specifically, the study – the value of which has not been released – has been jointly commissioned by the UK Space Agency and the Department for Business,... 

Vodacom reports half-year surge

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th November 2020 Telecommunications group Vodacom has reported a surge in data use that has led to an increase in service revenue for the six months ended September 30. The group’s revenue was up 7.8% to R47.8-billion during the half-year under review, underpinned by strong growth in Vodacom South Africa’s... 

SpaceX reaches another milestone with first regular crew launch

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th November 2020 The first US National Aeronautics and Space Administration- (Nasa-) certified regular commercial crewed spaceflight successfully launched in the early hours of Monday, South African time. The flight is being undertaken by private-sector enterprise SpaceX on behalf of Nasa, using the company’s... 

SpaceX reaches another milestone with first regular crew launch
Photo by Nasa
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying Crew Dragon “Resilience” on the Crew-1 mission lifts off

AWS solutions unlock machine learning potential for Arçelik

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th November 2020 Global household appliances manufacturer Arçelik is establishing a companywide analytics and machine learning programme, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), as it transforms its appliance manufacturing business into a data-driven organisation. AWS was selected as the preferred cloud provider... 

Kagiso Capital invests in local IoT commercial technology development company

By: Schalk Burger     13th November 2020 Transformative investment holding company Kagiso Capital has invested R100-million in Stellenbosch-based specialised technology investment group Alphawave Group, which is focused on the Internet of Things (IoT). The Alphawave Group’s 12 businesses traverse technologies from sensor technology,... 

Digital network launched to support wine sector

13th November 2020 The Western Cape government, in partnership with agency for tourism, trade and investment promotion for Cape Town and the Western Cape, Wesgro, as well as wine marketing specialists Wines of South Africa (WoSA), have announced the launch of the Cape Export Network (CEN). Launched in September,... 

Digital network launched to support wine sector
TECH TALK The Cape Export Network uses technology to introduce producers and buyers on a secure platform
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