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Technology & Communications News

R250m fund to take inventions to markets

By: System Author     16th July 1999 A R250-million pri- vate equity fund has been launched to narrow the gap between invention and commercialisation. Independent banking group Brait, of Johannesburg, launched the Braitec fund late last month and has already invested a total of R35-million in two firms embracing technological and... 

Optical fibre technology focus on Africa

By: System Author     16th July 1999 The transfer of leading-edge optical fibre technology, products and services will be made available to private and public network operators throughout Southern Africa following the signing of a strategic alliance between South African cable manufacturer Aberdare Cables and US-based company... 

R2bn telecom contract

By: System Author     16th July 1999 TELECOM group Alcatel has been awarded a R2-billion contract from French telecom operator Cegetel for the extension and reinforcement of the performances of its global systems mobile (GSM) network. According to this contract, Alcatel will supply the Evolium radiosolutions (GSM base stations) and... 

New global systems mobile network

By: System Author     16th July 1999 TELECOM solutions provider Ericsson has reached an agreement with mobile operator MTN to supply the world’s first global systems mobile (GSM) Pro network in South Africa. This will make MTN the first mobile operator in the world to add dispatch and group communication capabilities to its... 

R180m communications contract

By: System Author     16th July 1999 A R180-million contract to install and maintain a national communications infrastructure for Circle Information Technologies (CIT) over the next five years has been secured by Reunert electronics company Reunert Communication Systems (RCS). The order value for the first year is R23-million and... 

Lessons for economic policy from GDP revision

By: System Author     9th July 1999 It is not often that the subjective character of the ‘dismal science’ of economics is so obviously exposed. Usually it is carefully dissembled in the kind of scientific and objective language which dazzles everyone into admiring the Economics Emperor and ‘his beautiful... 

Centre of excellence launched in Gauteng

By: System Author     9th July 1999 RESEARCH and development in telecom has been boosted by the launch of a Telkom and Siemens-funded centre of excellence (CoE) at Technikon South Africa. The launch marks the extension of the already-existing University of the Witwatersrand CoE to Technikon South Africa, which will enable... 

R4,5-million internet capacity contract

By: System Author     9th July 1999 LOCAL Internet service provider (ISP) Satellite Data Networks (SDN) has signed a R4,5-million deal to supply information technology services consortium Uninet with international Internet capacity. The agreement will enable the consortium to provide a cost-effective connectivity solution to its... 

New broadcasting services for Africa

By: System Author     9th July 1999 COMMUNICATIONS company Intelsat has announced that it has signed an agreement with Portuguse TV company Radiotelevisao Porguesa (RTP) to distribute programming throughout Africa on the Intelsat 605 satellite at 332,5 

R500m national motor workshop chain

By: System Author     9th July 1999 Petrochemical company Shell South Africa has announced a five-year plan to develop a national chain of 180 motor workshops which will help to stimulate the motor industry and create over 2 000 jobs The project will see an injection of R500-million into the industry. Earlier this year, the company... 

R106m condensate-

By: System Author     9th July 1999 State-owned synthetic fuels producer Mossgas is to embark upon a R106-million project that will see its product output increase by up to 24% through the importation of oil condensate for refining at its plant near Mossel Bay in the Western Cape. This project will add nearly R40-million to the... 

State set to commercialise coal-conversion technologies

By: System Author     9th July 1999 The State-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF) will shortly be appointing consultants to advise it on how best to commercialise proprietary technology which is able to convert coal into value-added products. CEF’s Dr Howard Roberts tells Engineering News the technology is currently housed in... 

Ringing in the changes of Y2k compliance

By: System Author     9th July 1999 Acontract worth sev- eral million rands to ensure Year 2000 compliance for telecommunications provider Telkom is progressing well. The contract, subcontracted by Siemens to engineering software developer TLC Software, of Johannesburg, involves an engineering management system, client server... 

SA companies fail to compute A&C benefits

By: System Author     9th July 1999 Can you provide us with a succinct definition of A&C? Automation is an enabling technology. Computerisation refers to the computer hardware and software infrastructure required to automate a process or manufacturing operation. Control of the manufacture of a product through its successive stages... 

Latest advances in automation and drives

By: System Author     9th July 1999 At the Hanover Fair this year Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D) group president Dr Klaus Wucherer delivered an excellent overview of the latest achievements in the field of automation and drives. He started with a brief look at the A&D group. The last financial year was the first in which the... 

Is there an engineer available in the house?

By: System Author     9th July 1999 Martin Gottlieb is an engineer. He is also president of the American Institute of Engineers, and he currently has a mission. He is looking for a new name for ‘engineer’. Actually he is looking for a synonym. Gottlieb says doctors can be called physicians, lawyers can be called... 

R135m internet boost

By: System Author     9th July 1999 SOFTWARE company Internet Solution (IS) is establishing South Africa’s premier e-commerce network. IS Infrastructure has secured the first full 45 Mb/s international Internet circuit in the country for delivery this month. According to Dimension Data executive director Alon Apteker the move... 

Mobile phone network No 2 for Malawi

By: System Author     9th July 1999 THE contract to supply the equipment for the first-phase development of the second global systems mobile (GSM) network to be established in Malawi has been awarded to Siemens Carrier Solutions, a division of Siemens Information and Communication Networks (ICN). The contract for this initial phase... 

R3,5m Swazi telecom contract

By: System Author     9th July 1999 An order exceeding R3,5-million from the Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) for the delivery and installation of an interactive voice responder platform system has been awarded to Alcatel Altech Telecoms. The system, to be installed in Mbabane, will initially provide a voice... 

Undersea cable to link the world

By: System Author     9th July 1999 TELECOM utility Telkom has formalised its partnership with 40 nations in an undersea cable project aimed at linking Africa to Europe and Asia through telecoms. In a statement, Telkom said that this partnership will provide a telecom channel catering for Africa’s international connectivity... 

New products unveiled

By: System Author     9th July 1999 A new range of products has been launched by GE Fanuc Automation, of Isando, Gauteng, at an exhibition in Paris. “The technology involved is extremely advanced and of the highest standard,” GE Fanuc computer numeric control (CNC) sales and application engineer Norbert Barnard tells... 

The day when braaivleis will be banned . . .

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 When I was finishing a doctorate, the tea-room of the university had a collection of bound issues of an early English scientific journal called The Analyst. It recorded, in awful detail, the struggles of some dedicated Victorian chemists. In those days food wasn’t food unless it contained a... 

Importance of social investment acknowledged

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 The importance of social investment, particularly in its home town of Mossel Bay, is acknowledged by Mossgas. The main focus in this regard is on primary and secondary school education, adult education and economic empowerment of the previously-disadvantaged communities. Each of the more than 30... 

Elementary discovery is announced

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 In June it was announced that two new elements have been discovered. They have atomic numbers 116 and 118. A conventional periodic table of the elements stops at 104, or 103 if it is older, or at some lower number if it is even older! Elements up to uranium, which has the atomic number 92, can be... 

Contract strategy slashes costs

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 Alliancing, a contract strategy not well known in South Africa, but applied successfully on mega projects in the global oil and gas industry, is working well for Mossgas and Dresser Kellogg Energy Services (DKES), the programme manager for the EM gasfield development in the Bredasdorp basin. In... 

Novel gene technology is unveiled for herbicide-resistant crops

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 A novel gene technology being developed under the trademark of Acuron has been unveiled by Novartis Crop Protection and Novartis Seeds of the US. The Acuron gene provides tolerance to a class of broad-spectrum herbicides. When inserted into crops, the gene will provide tolerance to a class of... 

Arguing for Coega

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 Global economic growth continues to present industrial development opportunities to supply world markets, while a shortfall in certain strategic world markets has been forecast. New industrial development is needed to meet this demand. The trend towards the global village increasingly means that... 

Big contract for fledgeling firm

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 Fledgeling Gauteng architectural firm Paragon is making inroads into the South African building-design market after being contracted to design one of the first buildings to be established at the R3-billion Melrose Arch development, reports architect Henning Rasmuss. The company, which was... 

R600m phase one on schedule for Nov 2000

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 Construction of the R600-million first phase of the R3-billion Melrose Arch project is on schedule, with completion expected by November 2000, reports Mine Pension Fund Properties CE Jan Groenewald. Comprising the Melrose North triangular island between the M1 and Atholl Oaklands road, just south... 

Hurry, apply for a competitiveness grant

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 A competitiveness fund has been established by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through a R100-million loan from the World Bank which will provide financial support for improving the competitiveness of private sector South African companies. As a cost-sharing grant scheme (CSGS) the... 

Even resource industry can be resourceful

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 Something said by the Deputy PM of Canada, Herb Gray, during a luncheon organised by the South Africa-Canada Chamber of Business in Johannesburg a couple of weeks back, really got me thinking. In his speech, Gray insisted that successful economies of the twenty-first century will be determined... 

We print first image from SA’s own satellite

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 Engineering News today becomes the first medium to print an image transmitted back to earth by South Africa’s first satellite in space. The Sunsat satellite successfully transmitted the image back to the ground-station based at Stellenbosch University’s department of electrical and... 

One of SA’s largest single structures

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 Towering 114 m above sea level and extending 105 m below, the FA production platform is one of the largest single structures ever constructed in South Africa. Supporting it all is a steel-lattice structure or ‘jacket’, itself 124-m-high and weighing nearly 14 500 t. The jacket is... 

Canadians add extra byte

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 A bilateral projectvalued at C$3,5-million over three years is being realised between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Canadian government through the Canadian International Development Agency (Cida) to study and develop the South African information technology (IT) industry.... 

Computer model used

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 Developments in the field of three-dimensional (3D) computer-aided modelling show remarkable results in the development of the structural design of the R3-billion Melrose Arch project, reports Lillicrap Crutchfield design engineer Con Strydom. The consulting civil and structural engineering... 

IT joint ventures sought

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 The Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA) is seeking joint venture partners in the information technology (IT) industry following requests from a number of Indian companies. One Indian company (Project 1), which has operations worldwide and a proven record in software development, e-commerce... 

New phone moves from the ears to the eyes

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 Cellular technology has taken the first step in moving from the ears to the eyes with the launch of what is reportedly the world’s first media mobile phone by cellular giant Nokia. Due to be launched locally in September this year, the Nokia 7110 dual-band phone is the first wireless... 

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