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Technology & Communications News

Major international telescope being built in South Africa by local artisans

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th September 2021 An international radio telescope array project, led by the US National Science Foundation, is being built in South Africa’s radio astronomy reserve in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape province by local artisans, and has already started doing valuable science, the South African Radio... 

Latest Altron Fintech index reveals short-term credit decline hurts economy, jobs and taxes 

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th September 2021 A decline in the extension of short-term credit in South Africa has impacted the economy through loss of sales, fewer jobs and lower tax collections, Altron Fintech's inaugural Altron Fintech Short-term Credit Impact (AFSCI) Index shows. The AFSCI Index, unpacking the economic impact of... 

Liquid connects the DRC, Congo Brazzaville with high-speed connectivity

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th September 2021 Technology group Liquid Intelligent Technologies has bridged communications between Kinshasa and Congo Brazzaville after leveraging wireless optical communication technology (WOC) from Project Taara at X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory, to deliver affordable high-speed connectivity to communities in... 

SA’s quantum technology initiative, led by Wits University, to side-step competitors

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th September 2021 The South African Quantum Technology Initiative (SA QuTI), headed by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), does not intend to directly take on the major international quantum technologies competitor countries. “South Africa cannot compete with the billions of euros invested in quantum... 

Science and Innovation Department grants funds to Wits University for quantum research

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th September 2021 The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has awarded R8-million in seed funding to the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to implement Phase 1 of the South African Quantum Technology Initiative (SA QuTI). Wits had already set up its own WitsQ quantum research initiative and is the... 

Nokia, ATU team up to drive Africa’s digital transformation

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th September 2021 Information and communication technology (ICT) group Nokia and the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to drive digital transformation and the knowledge economy for socioeconomic development across Africa. The two parties aim to leverage the... 

Bytes COO steps in as interim CFO

By: Donna Slater     14th September 2021 JSE-listed software, security and cloud services company Bytes Technology Group CFO Keith Richardson has informed the company of his intention to retire after having served nearly three decades with the company. Current COO Andrew Holden will assume leadership of Bytes’ finance function as... 

African Rainbow Capital’s portfolio expands on back of fair value gains

By: Donna Slater     14th September 2021 JSE-listed African Rainbow Capital’s (ARC’s) intrinsic portfolio value increased by 16.3% from R10.55-billion as at June 30, 2020, to R12.27-billion as at June 30, this year. Net fair value gains accounted for R909-million of the increase and net investments for the remaining R810-million... 

Vodacom installs new solar-powered sites to reduce carbon emissions

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th September 2021 Information and communication technology giant Vodacom has invested more than R8-million to install new solar-powered sites in Polokwane, Vereeniging and Bloemfontein as the company continues to secure alternative energy sources to power its operations where feasible. The three new solar-powered... 

ABB launches new Digital Solutions Centre in Johannesburg

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2021 Automation company ABB on September 9 unveiled its new South African Digital Solutions Centre, which aims to help companies across industries to overcome their most pressing technology and digitalisation challenges. The centre, which is based at ABB’s Longmeadow facility, in Johannesburg, gives... 

Pic/Image of ABB's new South African Digital Solutions Centre
ABB's new South African Digital Solutions Centre

MTN partners with Flutterwave in new mobile money partnership

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th September 2021 Information and communications technology group MTN has partnered with payments technology company Flutterwave to enable Flutterwave business customers to use MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) as a payment method. This means that businesses integrating Flutterwave in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda... 

Digitalisation offers opportunity to improve supply chains, manufacturing  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th September 2021 Digitalisation provides an opportunity to improve manufacturing and supply chain processes. Companies in these sectors have, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, had to quickly adapt to using new technologies, which has driven increased digitalisation efforts, speakers noted during a webinar... 

An iamage of Neways MD Jeremy Basckin presenting during a webinar
Neways MD Jeremy Basckin elaborates on how visibility can be used to tackle supply chain challenges.

Wits invites research community to join consortium advancing AI use for Africa

By: Schalk Burger     8th September 2021 Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) offer huge opportunities for development and progress in Africa, and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) invites Africa’s research community to join its newly formed AI Africa Consortium, which aims to develop a collaborative network... 

MTN Nigeria secures licence renewal

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th September 2021 The Nigerian Communications Commission has renewed MTN Nigeria’s Unified Access Service (UAS) licence and spectrum licence for wireless local loop in the 900 MHz and 1 800 MHz band, subject to licensing conditions, including additional amounts under discussion. This means the licences, which... 

Telkom calls for 'fair and transparent' new spectrum auction rules

By: Reuters     8th September 2021 Telkom on Wednesday called on regulator Icasa to create new spectrum licensing auction rules that were "fair and transparent", after the watchdog consented to a court order declaring the previous process flawed. The country's third biggest telecom company had asked a court to prevent the... 

MTN is said to be in talks with buyers for Afghani wireless unit

By: Bloomberg     8th September 2021 MTN Group is in talks with potential international buyers for its wireless business in Afghanistan, a bid to accelerate plans to exit the country, according to people familiar with the matter. Africa’s biggest mobile-phone operator, the market leader in Afghanistan with a 40% share, is in... 

Icasa consents to set aside order for spectrum ITAs

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th September 2021 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and South Africa’s telecommunications operators have not reached an out-of-court settlement on the current spectrum impasse. Icasa has decided to consent to an order setting aside its decision to publish the Invitations To Apply... 

FTTx presents opportunities for consumers, business

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th September 2021 Fibre-to-the-x (FTTx) is a bundle of opportunities wrapped in legacy challenges that can be overcome to deliver immense value to the business, consumer and public sector alike, said International Data Corporation senior research and consulting manager and telco and Internet of Things sub-Saharan... 

weFix, Restore SA partnership aims to reconstruct looted SA businesses

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th September 2021 Device repair specialist weFix co-CEOs Malcom Daitz and Ariel Kolin are contributing to a partnership with Restore SA to help reconstruct the livelihoods of South Africans affected by the riots lasts month. The Restore SA initiative, started by Joshua Cox of Fix Forward, focuses on connecting... 

PwC Africa announces focus areas as part of global strategy

By: Schalk Burger     3rd September 2021 Advisory services multinational PwC Africa has announced its six focus areas to support the group's global New Equation strategy, which aims to deliver sustained outcomes for its clients. PwC Africa’s six key focus areas are trust; growth and value creation; environmental, social and governance... 

CSIR develops polymer composite for steel pipe maker for push-fit applications

By: Schalk Burger     3rd September 2021 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a polymer composite solution for, and in partnership with, steel pipe manufacturer Hall Longmore. The solution advances Hall Longmore's aim to offer the South African water industry a localised push-fit application for... 

Researchers using Joburg as live lightning research laboratory

By: Schalk Burger     3rd September 2021 The University of the Witwatersrand' (Wits') Johannesburg Lightning Research Laboratory (JLRL) is turning Johannesburg into a laboratory where live lightning events are measured and characterised through the use of high-speed cameras, direct current measurements, fast electric field measurements,... 

South Africa’s radio telescope success stimulates international expansion investment

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd September 2021 The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) has already awarded the contracts for the construction of the infrastructure required for the expansion of the country’s world-leading MeerKAT radio telescope array. Located in the Karoo region, roughly west of the Northern Cape town of... 

Cover image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly magazine

Cybersecurity attacks in Kenya, South Africa and Zim have increased

By: Schalk Burger     1st September 2021 The 'State of Cyber Security in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe 2021' report, released by information technology services multinational Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) on September 1, shows that a majority of organisations in these countries experienced an increase in cybersecurity threats... 

Kennedy Chinganya appointed MD of Altron Nexus

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st September 2021 JSE-listed Altron has appointed Kennedy Chinganya MD of Altron Nexus, with effect from September 1. He succeeds Mark Harris, who will now handle special projects until the end of November. 

Paratus Botswana bolsters network with $6m fibre backbone

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2021 Telecommunications network multinational Paratus Botswana has invested more than $6-million in independent fibre connectivity in Botswana as a seamless add-on to its existing infrastructure backbone. “At no extra cost to customers, fibre connectivity will give businesses unmatched uptime via a... 

Wits physics student helps develop method to quickly reveal structures of quantum-entangled states

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2021 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) PhD student Isaac Nape is part of a team of physicists who developed a new tool to reveal the hidden structures of quantum-entangled states in a study published in science journal Nature Communications on August 27. Nape's PhD focuses on harnessing... 

A photo of Wits PhD student Isaac Nape
Wits PhD student Isaac Nape

Venture capital firms contribute to ensure free access to African Tech Startups Funding report

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2021 Startup-focused news and research company Disrupt Africa will make its 'African Tech Startups Funding Report 2021', available for free for a second year through a partnership with Africa-focused venture capital firms Novastar Ventures, Quona Capital, 4Di Capital and Future Africa. The yearly... 

e4 launches Girls in STEM programme

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st August 2021 Fintech specialist e4 has launched a Girls in STEM programme to provide girls in underprivileged areas with the support they need to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) post matric. Cognisant of the gender imbalance present in the science and technology... 

An image of the e4 team at the Diepdale Secondary School
e4 team at Diepdale Secondary School

Women-developed products launched with the help of the Technology Innovation Agency

By: Donna Slater     30th August 2021 Five women-led products and innovations, developed with the assistance of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), were launched and showcased to the market on August 30. The products include skincare products, a personal tracking device for children, an alternative to drinking yoghurt and a... 

Telcos to lose access to temporary spectrum by November 

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th August 2021 The temporary spectrum assigned by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to enable South Africa’s telecommunications companies to handle the surge in demand for connectivity during the country’s Covid-19-linked State of Disaster has not been renewed. Licensees have... 

New Electrolux South Africa MD outlines sustainable growth plans for Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th August 2021 International home appliances maker Electrolux expects strong demand to continue as a result of the stay-at-home trend prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. “For so many of us, our homes aren’t just a place to live – they are offices, schools, gyms and so much more. With people spending so much more... 

Vox launches weather channel

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th August 2021 Vox has launched an interactive weather channel with meteorologist Annette Botha to deliver informative, educational and credible weather analysis. Amid increasing adverse weather events and a global movement to deal with the climate crisis, Vox Weather aims to provide top-tier credible forecasts... 

Cell C swings into profit, secures funding

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th August 2021 As telecommunications firm Cell C swings to a profit, the embattled group has taken another step closer to the conclusion of a long-awaited recapitalisation. Cell C majority shareholder Blue Label Telecoms said on August 26 that the operator had reported a significant turnaround in profitability,... 

Absa, Hein Wagner Academy to launch first cybersecurity academy for visually impaired

By: Schalk Burger     27th August 2021 Financial services firm Absa Group and visual impaired economic empowerment organisation Hein Wagner Academy will launch South Africa's first cybersecurity academy for the visually impaired.  It will represent the next evolution of the Absa Cybersecurity Academy, which is focused on providing... 

Company offers laser cladding services

27th August 2021 High-technology coatings specialist Thermaspray is the only ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 3834-2 certified company offering laser cladding services to industry in Southern Africa.  

Picture of laser cladding in progress
CLADDING AWAY The lasers used for laser cladding exhibit a more uniform distribution of energy in the melt pool

Laser tech benefits medical implant industry

27th August 2021 The use of laser manufacturing solutions provider LPKF Laser & Electronics’ laser technology ushers in new era in the medical implant industry. A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted, electronic medical device that provides the sense of sound to people with hearing loss. In use for a few... 

Picture of the inside of the laser system
LASER OPPORTUNITIES The laser structuring process is also destined for manufacturing for microwave applications, flexible electronics, and glass
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