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Technology & Communications News

Etion to report full-year earnings dip

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th June 2019 JSE-listed Etion expects to report lower headline earnings a share and earnings a share for the financial year ended March 31. The group anticipates a drop in earnings of between 95.86% and 98.62%, compared with the 7.26c posted the year before. 

Industry 4.0 presents transformation for African manufacturing sector

14th June 2019 The Manufacturing Indaba 2019 is set to explore the impact on, and opportunities associated with disruptive and revolutionary technologies that are transforming the global manufacturing sector.  Despite its status as a developing continent, Africa’s manufacturing space stands the opportunity to... 

Industry 4.0 presents transformation for African manufacturing sector
CAPITAL IMPACT The ultimate concern is how African manufacturers can capitalise on Industry 4.0 while simultaneously mitigating the accompanying risks

Côte d’Ivoire smart grid improves power security, access to power pool

By: Schalk Burger     14th June 2019 A smart electricity grid solution, developed and built by electricity multinational ABB, provides connectivity for all critical elements of the grid, helps operators to balance supply and demand and, crucially, enables Côte d’Ivoire to access the West African Power Pool (Wapp), says ABB Power... 

Approach, not technology, key to success in advanced manufacturing

By: Schalk Burger     14th June 2019 The only way for small and large companies to become and remain globally competitive in advanced manufacturing supply chains is to embrace the latest technologies and processes that are available, says machined components manufacturer Daliff Precision Engineering chairperson Rowland Chute.... 

Approach, not technology, key to success in advanced manufacturing
LOCAL YET GLOBAL Real-time analysis of operating data will provide information for where future improvements are required

Nestlé launches R&D innovation challenge in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th June 2019 Nestlé on Thursday launched a research and development (R&D) innovation challenge in South Africa as part of the company’s efforts to contribute to the local innovation ecosystem. Nestlé’s goal is to work collaboratively with startups and universities to identify sustainable and scalable science... 

Airbus has flown flapping wing-tip scale demonstrator aircraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th June 2019 Europe-based giant aerospace group Airbus announced on Thursday that it had successfully flown a remote-controlled scale-model aircraft (based on the Airbus A321 single-aisle airliner and designated AlbatrossOne) fitted with flapping wing-tips. This is the first time that any category of aircraft... 

Airbus has flown flapping wing-tip scale demonstrator aircraft
Photo by Airbus
The remotely-controlled scale-model AlbatrossOne, with unlocked wing-tips

Necsa board states agency has dire finances 

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th June 2019 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) issued on Thursday a curt response to the press release issued the day before by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union. In its statement, the union alleged that the Necsa board was proposing to retrench 400 employees and... 

Necsa board states agency has dire finances
Necsa logo

Vodacom petitions top Congo court to cancel withdrawal of permit

By: Bloomberg     12th June 2019 Vodacom Group’s unit in the Democratic Republic of Congo petitioned the nation’s top administrative court to reverse a government order withdrawing its second-generation (2G) license. A directive signed by Telecommunications Minister Emery Okundji in April threatens to disconnect some of Vodacom... 

Union attacks Necsa board, claiming retrenchments and privatisations planned

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th June 2019 The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) asserted on Wednesday that it had “reliably learnt” that the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (Necsa’s) board was proposing to retrench 400 employees and perhaps sell public assets. These proposals were part of a... 

Union attacks Necsa board, claiming retrenchments and privatisations planned
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An aerial view of Necsa’s Pelindaba complex, west of Pretoria/Tshwane

Stellenbosch University starts training data engineers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th June 2019 The Faculty of Engineering at Stellenbosch University (SU) will introduce a new BEng degree in Data Engineering from February 2020.  This degree will be a new specialisation stream in the faculty’s existing undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. 

Ethos Al Fund invests R200-million into TymeBank

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th June 2019 Empowerment investment holding company African Rainbow Capital (ARC) and alternative asset manager Ethos Private Equity have jointly announced an investment of R200-million by the Ethos Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fund and co-investors – jointly referred to as the Ethos Al Fund – in recently... 

ParkUpp start-up monetising inner city parking

By: Schalk Burger     10th June 2019 Property technology firm ParkUpp is monetising idle parking spaces in inner cities by allowing private and commercial property owners to list available parking spaces on its website and persons looking for long-term parking to browse available options. There are many cars parked on the side of... 

CSIR's new strategy aims to tap into private-sector prospects

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th June 2019 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini has announced both a new strategy and a radical restructuring of South Africa's world-renowned science council. The aim of the new strategy and structure was to strengthen the industrial research activities of the... 

Looking back at invention of the Periodic Table as world marks 150th anniversary

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th June 2019 It all started with alchemy. Of course, the ancient world had had some practical knowledge of chemistry, and had seen some advances in the applied chemistry, long before the emergence of alchemy. The distant roots of chemistry are probably to be found in Bronze Age (roughly 3 300 BC to 1 200BC)... 

Looking back at invention of the Periodic Table as world marks 150th anniversary

Chinese company opens competence centre

7th June 2019 Multinational silicon products developer and manufacturer the WACKER Group has opened a new competence centre for cement and concrete applications in Shanghai, China. The laboratory will develop novel silicone-based products and solutions, which are able to improve the performance of cement and... 

Chinese company opens competence centre
Photo by Bloomberg
CEMENT INNOVATION The new competence center will develop novel silicone-based products and solutions that improve the durability of cement and concrete

Machine tools sector preparing local manufacturing for 4IR

By: Tracy Hancock     7th June 2019 Technological advancements in the local machine tools industry will help grow South Africa’s struggling manufacturing sector, says corporate association of manufacturers Manufacturing Circle (MC) executive director Philippa Rodseth. The manufacturing sector’s contribution to South Africa’s gross... 

Machine tools sector preparing local manufacturing for 4IR
PHILIPPA RODSETH A skilled workforce that can benefit from innovation and investments in new technologies is key to driving manufacturing competitiveness

South African medicine dispensing system wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th June 2019 For the first time since its inception in 2015, a South African electrical engineer has won the Royal Academy of Engineers’ 2019 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Thirty-one-year-old Neo Hutiri and his team won R463 000, or about £25 000, for developing Pelebox – a smart locker system... 

South African medicine dispensing system wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation
South African electrical engineer Neo Hutiri wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

Mkhwanazi appointed EOH chairperson

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th June 2019 JSE-listed information technology services group EOH has appointed Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi chairperson, effective immediately. “His record of providing courageous leadership in challenging business environments, coupled with his commitment to sound corporate governance, were key drivers for his... 

Mkhwanazi appointed EOH chairperson
EOH chairperson Xolani Mkhwanazi

MTN top investor forced board shakeup in push for fewer disputes

By: Bloomberg     4th June 2019 MTN Group's biggest shareholder is pushing for changes at Africa’s largest mobile-phone company to avoid the regulatory, legal and political disputes that have cut its share price by more than half over the past four years. The Public Investment Corporation built a 26% stake in Johannesburg-based... 

TIPS Forum discusses how 4IR is helping efficiency, environment

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st May 2019 Industrialisation leads to socioeconomic growth, often at a cost to the environment in the form of emissions and pollution, and, therefore, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) presents a promising opportunity for sustainable development. Speaking at the Trade and Industry Policy Strategies... 

TIPS Forum discusses how 4IR is helping efficiency, environment
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
TIPS researcher Bhavna Deonarain

American Tower to buy Eaton Towers in $1.85bn Africa push

By: Bloomberg     31st May 2019 American Tower agreed to buy Eaton Towers for about $1.85-billion including debt as one of the few international providers of telecommunications infrastructure expands in the fast-growing African market. Both companies have sites in countries such as Ghana and Kenya, and the deal will enable... 

Policy catching up to 5G technology

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st May 2019 When discussing the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and industrial policy that adapts to it accordingly, one has to consider fifth-generation (5G) cellular network technology that has been introduced in some parts of the world since last year, technology initiative 5GBarcelona chief technical... 

Policy catching up to 5G technology
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
5GBarcelona chief technical officer Dr Sergi Figuerola

Astronomers confirm 'exoplanet hell' with SAAO telescope

By: News24Wire      31st May 2019 Astronomers have confirmed the existence of an exoplanet so hot, it can be described as hell. Planet NGTS-4b, nick-named "The Forbidden Planet", was confirmed by researchers using the South African Astronomical Observatory's (SAAO) Sutherland High-speed Optical Cameras (SHOC) 1 m telescope. 

Startups strive to recycle emissions for 'new carbon economy'

By: Reuters     31st May 2019 Jennifer Holmgren, CE of carbon recycling firm LanzaTech, explained modestly how the Chicago-based startup had cut multimillion-dollar deals on four continents, including in China, aimed at helping curb climate change and air pollution. At the Jingtang Steel Mill in Heibei province, the company... 

Boeing making ‘steady progress’ on returning the 737 MAX to safe operations

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st May 2019 Giant US aerospace and defence group Boeing has announced that it has concluded the development of updated software for its 737 MAX single-aisle airliner type, as well as the associated simulator testing and engineering flight test. The updated software is for the 737 MAX’s Manoeuvring... 

Digital accounting service to help startups, small businesses

By: Schalk Burger     31st May 2019 A digital accountant service was designed to help startups and small businesses manage their daily operations, tax and registration matters, which also change as they grow, says digital accountant company Osidon co-founder and CEO Hennie Ferreira. The Osidon service comprises an automated... 

Digital accounting service to help  startups, small businesses
HENNIE FERREIRA The automated service writes financial data to compliance and accounting documents based on regulations and client needs

App focus in cloud environments improves business agility

By: Schalk Burger     31st May 2019 Accessible and stable applications (apps) hosted in cloud systems and distributed to where a business needs them help to improve its agility, responsiveness and resistance to disruption, says cloud and security app company F5 Networks Europe, Middle East and Africa senior VP David Helfer. Apps... 

App focus in cloud environments improves business agility
DAVID HELFER The value and importance of apps for businesses makes managing and securing apps across hybrid IT environments essential

Innovation policy requires careful consideration – TIPS

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th May 2019 Industrialisation requires innovation and, despite increased investment into science, technology and innovation, as well as the implementation of policies designed to encourage innovation, South Africa’s innovation activities remain constrained, Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS)... 

Innovation policy requires careful consideration – TIPS
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
TIPS executive director Saul Levin

MTN eyes Ethiopia entry as country prepares to open market

By: Bloomberg     30th May 2019 MTN Group has identified Ethiopia as a rare new market into which Africa’s largest wireless carrier wants to expand. “There are a few large markets that are under-penetrated and where there is scope for a No. 1 or No. 2 operator, like Ethiopia,” CEO Rob Shuter said in an interview at Bloomberg’s... 

MTN Uganda's deported CEO allowed to return – official

By: Reuters     30th May 2019 The head of MTN Group's Ugandan business has been allowed to return to the country and is expected back later on Thursday, more than three months after he was deported, a company official told Reuters. Wim Vanhelleputte, the chief executive officer of MTN Uganda, was deported by the East African... 

IASP elects first female president for its Africa division

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2019 The International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) has elected Hauwa Yabani as its Africa division president. She is also the first female president of the division. Yabani was elected to the role at the IASP Africa division workshop hosted by The Innovation Hub,... 

IASP elects first female president for its Africa division
Newly-elected Africa division president Hauwa Yabani

Cartrack continues growth streak

By: Simone Liedtke     28th May 2019 Data analytics solutions provider Cartrack on Tuesday reported another solid set of results for its financial year ended February 28, marking the company’s sixth year of consecutive double-digit growth in companywide, as well as subscription, revenue. Subscription revenue as a percentage of total... 

Airtel Africa looks at $1bn London listing

By: Reuters     28th May 2019 Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, is considering a stock market flotation in London, it said on Tuesday, part of efforts to expand its data and mobile money services across Africa. The company is aiming to raise around $1-billion in a June equity offering, a... 

Brazilians score following African Utility Week

By: Kim Cloete     28th May 2019 Brazilian companies are expected to generate business of $5.3-million over the next year as a result of the recent African Utility Week and PowerGEN Africa conference and exhibition. The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, Apex-Brasil, in partnership with the Brazilian Association of... 

Brazilians score following African Utility Week
Delegates from Brazil attended the African Utility Week in South Africa

Vodacom permit dispute threatens to disconnect Congo clients

By: Bloomberg     28th May 2019 Vodacom Group’s unit in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will lose the right to provide second-generation (2G) services this week unless it renews a disputed licence, according to a government order. The directive threatens to disconnect some of Vodacom Congo’s 11.8-million customers who’ve... 

Telkom to seek an equity partner to help boost towers growth

By: Bloomberg     28th May 2019 Telkom is seeking an equity partner to help build more mobile-network towers as the former South African phone monopoly seeks new ways to increase revenue away from its core, fixed-line business. The Pretoria-based company may also sell some of its 1 332 properties to raise cash for the project,... 

MTN to sell interest in Amadeus to HarbourVest for R1.2bn

By: Reuters     28th May 2019 South African telecoms company MTN said on Tuesday it would sell its interest in investment fund Amadeus to private equity firm HarbourVest for around R1.2-billion. MTN said the sale, which also includes its associated holding in online travel booking website TravelStart, was part of a plan to... 

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