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Technology & Communications News

Industry 4.0 adoption muted in South Africa

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     22nd May 2020 The adoption and impact of Industry 4.0 in South Africa is still relatively muted, compared to the rest of the world, with its biggest challenges being education, connectivity, and electricity and accessibility, says automation and machine building solutions provider S4 Integration marketing... 

PLC series well received locally

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     22nd May 2020 Industrial switchgear automation and energy management distributor ElectroMechanica (EM) says its AS200 programmable logic controller (PLC) series has been well received in South Africa, as it has one of the best price-to-performance ratios on the market currently. “It’s still a new PLC and... 

PLC series well received locally
READILY AVAILABLE All AS200 PLC series products and extensions are stocked and available nationally from EM

Company approves R3m budget for Artisan 4.0

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     22nd May 2020 The Colliery Training College (CTC) board has approved R3-million towards achieving its Artisan 4.0 vision by the end of 2020. Artisan 4.0 will enable an artisan to know about bearings, gearboxes and sequence starters because the basic principles of mechanics, electricity, forces and motion have... 

Resilience paramount for Society 5.0 era

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     22nd May 2020 New strategies are necessary for socioeconomic inclusivity and sustainable development given the novelty of the era of Society 5.0 combined with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). In this era, the fusing of biological, ecological, physical, technological and socio-political worlds is... 

Local company brings mass-screening device to the South African market

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st May 2020 Local company Granule Holdings has started distributing smart helmets to monitor people for high temperatures in the fight again Covid-19. The KC N901 smart helmet is able to scan the temperatures of up to 200 people every minute and has been well received by authorities in China, Italy, the... 

Vodacom Group creates Vodacom South Africa as standalone business

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st May 2020 With an increasing expansion of an African portfolio, telecommunications Vodacom Group has simplified its structure, forming a standalone Vodacom South Africa unit to be led by Balesh Sharma as its new MD. Vodacom Group has been accelerating its growth ambitions on the continent, and to ensure... 

Vodacom Group creates Vodacom South Africa as standalone business
Photo by Creamer Media
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub

Competition Commission gives Cell C deal green light

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st May 2020 The Competition Commission has conditionally approved a deal for the sale of certain assets of mobile operator Cell C to special purpose vehicle (SPV) Gatsby. Recommending the transaction to the Competition Tribunal, the commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in a... 

Competition Commission gives Cell C deal green light

Engineers at SA's North West University develop kit to help schools screen for Covid-19

By: African News Agency      21st May 2020 Engineers at South Africa's North West University have developed a testing kit they hope will help resolve the congestion likely to occur during screening for Covid-19 when schools resume classes next month, the institution said on Thursday. South African schools and universities have been closed... 

Konnect Africa to supply free broadband connectivity to clinics

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st May 2020 Satellite operator Eutelsat Communications subsidiary Konnect Africa plans to provide temporary free broadband connectivity to eight clinics in Mpumalanga. The clinics, which do not have access to terrestrial networks with appropriate broadband, will each receive 300 GB of data monthly over the... 

Africa Data Centres acquires major data centre from Standard Bank

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st May 2020 Interconnected, carrier and cloud-neutral data centre facilities network Africa Data Centres has acquired a Tier IV data centre in Johannesburg from Standard Bank. The acquisition by the group, which is part of the Liquid Telecom Group, is expected to disrupt the South African data centre and... 

Kaspersky announces cyber capacity training programme to bolster IT resilience

By: Schalk Burger     21st May 2020 Cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky on May 19 announced that, as part of the Global Transparency Initiative, it had developed a cybersecurity skills development programme. The Cyber Capacity Building Programme will be available during the latter part of the year, says Kaspersky public affairs... 

Online payment gateway sees 226% rise in new food industry business registrations

By: Schalk Burger     21st May 2020 Online payment gateway PayFast has registered more than 7 000 new merchant accounts over the lockdown period, so far, and the company reports a 226% year-on-year increase in new business account registrations in the food industry since Covid-19 restrictions were put in place in March. The surge... 

Inflation risks, lack of banking infrastructure to drive cryptocurrency adoption in Africa

By: Schalk Burger     21st May 2020 High inflation rates, volatile currencies and underdeveloped banking infrastructure are likely to result in an increase in the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Africa, a report by cryptocurrency multinational Luno and digital asset company Arcane Research shows. Cryptocurrencies also offer... 

Affordability not the only barrier to Internet uptake

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th May 2020 Despite prices for mobile voice, mobile data and fixed-broadband services decreasing steadily around the world, it is not translating into increasing Internet penetration rates, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) suggested. Globally, telecommunication and information and... 

Vodacom introduces community-based model to clamp down on battery theft

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th May 2020 Telecommunications giant Vodacom has started engaging communities to intensify security around its base stations to guard against vandalism and battery theft. Communities members will be recruited, trained and accredited – work with police – serving as “monitoring personnel” under a new model to... 

MultiChoice to provide free online learning, more entertainment

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th May 2020 Broadcaster MultiChoice South Africa is providing access to online learning platform Udemy through its DStv App for customers. DStv customers will have access to 600 free courses offered by Udemy until the end of July, as well as access, for DStv Premium customers, to a $5 rand equivalent voucher... 

Manufacturers encouraged to first pilot IIoT projects

By: Schalk Burger     19th May 2020 The use of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions in manufacturing grows in complexity and scale over time by providing solutions to specific requirements of the plant or manufacturer. Manufacturers should deploy pilot IIoT projects to address specific challenges and then scale up their... 

Digitalisation of manufacturing offers potential to increase efficiency

By: Schalk Burger     19th May 2020 Digitalisation of the manufacturing sector provides a new opportunity to increase efficiency, but also brings with it new challenges, Rockwell Automation Europe, Middle East and Africa president Susana Gonzalez has highlighted. Rockwell recently hosted its first fully virtual conference to... 

Huge to report increased year-end earnings

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th May 2020 JSE-listed Huge Group expects an increase in earnings across the board for the year ended February 29. The company expects earnings per share (EPS) and headline earnings per share (HEPS) to increase 0% to 5% year-on-year. 

Intelligent automation can enable services, commerce without physical contact

By: Schalk Burger     15th May 2020 The use of intelligent automation can allow for business processes to operate more effectively, while also reducing physical contact, such as at healthcare facilities, by reducing or removing manual and physical processes, says consultancy firm EY Africa intelligent automation lead Paul St... 

Online platforms should adapt to ensure post-Covid-19 survival

By: Donna Slater     15th May 2020 With people around the world increasingly using Web-based platforms to communicate, buy, sell and otherwise inform themselves about current affairs, Accenture technology practice MD Kirtan Sita says such platforms need to prioritise and implement essential functions that come with this vital... 

Helios acquires 65 wireless telco sites in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th May 2020 Independent telecommunications tower infrastructure company Helios Towers plans to acquire 65 wireless telecommunications sites in South Africa through a deal between its South African subsidiary HTSA Towers and Eagle Towers. The transaction aligns with the group’s strategy of broadening its... 

Majority of those working from home have not received cybersecurity training, guidance

By: Schalk Burger     15th May 2020 Three-in-four (73%) employees working from home have not yet received any specific cybersecurity awareness guidance or training to keep themselves secure from risks, a report published by cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky shows. While it can be more difficult to control the security of... 

Amid pandemic, short-term business risks need to be managed

By: Schalk Burger     15th May 2020 Upper-level management and executives will need to take the role of governance, risk and compliance teams very seriously during this time and in the months ahead, says legal and business information and analytics service multinational LexisNexis South Africa legal and compliance divisional... 

Local blockchain solution shortlisted for global award

By: Schalk Burger     15th May 2020 Blockchain construction contract management solution Sherlock, developed by DoshEx, has been selected as one of three shortlisted candidates for the Blockchain Trailblazer category of the 2020 IBM Beacon Award. An enterprise-ready smart contract management and administration solution, Sherlock... 

Datatec to report double-digit earnings rise for 2020 financial year

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th May 2020 Information and communication technology company Datatec expects to post 20% higher earnings per share (EPS) for the year ended February 29. Underlying EPS is expected to be between 9.5c and 10.5c, in dollar terms, 44% to 59% higher than the 6.6c reported in the 2019 financial year. 

Consortium to build new subsea cable for Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th May 2020 Several companies have teamed to up to build what is described as one of the largest subsea projects in the world to connect 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The new 37 000 km-long 2Africa subsea cable plans to interconnect Europe eastward through Egypt and the Middle East... 

MTN delivers solid first-quarter performance

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th May 2020 Telecommunications group MTN has achieved a solid performance during the first quarter of 2020, with double-digit service revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) growth. During the three months to March, the company increased group service revenue by... 

Telkom reduces DSL broadband prices to assist in connecting people during Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     14th May 2020 In response to the increased demand for home connectivity during the Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa, Telkom is reducing prices and removing caps on its copper-based digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband portfolio to new customers. The promotional prices, starting from R199 for an initial... 

Blimps posited to monitor Covid-19 prevention measure compliance

By: Donna Slater     14th May 2020 Unmanned aerial systems, such as small blimps, could be used as novel airborne measures to monitor people in terms of physical distancing and other Covid-19 prevention measures, says University of Johannesburg (UJ) Institute of Intelligent Systems Professor Qingguo Wang. He explains that a... 

Blimps posited to monitor Covid-19 prevention measure compliance

Altron delivers positive FY20 results 

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th May 2020 JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron) posted a 14% increase in earnings before interest tax and depreciation (Ebitda) to R1.84-billion during the year ended February 29. The adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 16 accounting standard positively contributed... 

Altron delivers positive FY20 results
Altron CEO Mteto Nyati discusses the company’s financial performance during the year ended February

Vodacom to use balloon-powered Internet solution in Mozambique

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th May 2020 Telecommunications giant Vodacom will use Alphabet subsidiary Loon’s balloon-powered Internet solution to expand its network in Mozambique. As part of a new agreement, Vodacom will leverage Loon’s network of floating cell phone towers that operate 20 km above Earth to provide service to unserved... 

T-Systems to make cyber defence accessible to more customers

By: Schalk Burger     13th May 2020 Information and communication technology multinational T-Systems South Africa has relaunched its security operations centre (SOC) as a cyber defence centre (CDC), which leverages the latest cognitive technology and will offer its advanced cyber defence portfolio to customers as a managed service,... 

Applications open for $150 000 JWO research grant

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th May 2020 Applications for the second Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer (JWO) Research Grant, worth $150 000, is open to environmental researchers and conservation leaders from Africa. The closing date for pre-proposals is Wednesday, May 27. 

Early career African scientists awarded UK funding for postdoctoral research 

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th May 2020 South Africans are among the 29 early career African scientists who have been selected to receive research funding under the Future Leaders – African Independent Research (Flair) programme for 2020. Other recipients come from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Sudan and Uganda. The 29... 

S&P downgrades Telkom in line with sovereign ratings

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th May 2020 Ratings agency S&P Global Ratings (S&P) has revised JSE-listed Telkom’s long-term issuer rating to be in line with the sovereign ratings downgrade in April. Telkom, which is viewed as a government-related entity, has been revised downwards from BB+ to BB, with the negative outlook revised to stable. 

Consumers becoming more active, aware of online presence

By: Schalk Burger     12th May 2020 Nearly four out of five South African consumers have tried to remove private information from websites or social media and new research by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has found that consumers around the world want to take more action to protect and maintain control over their personal privacy,... 

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