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Technology & Communications News

Vodacom agrees to drop data prices by 40% over next two years  

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th March 2020 Telecommunications giant Vodacom has reached an agreement with South Africa's Competition Commission that will result in it reducing its prepaid data prices by 40% and enable digital inclusion over the next two years. Following the publication of the commission’s ‘Final Findings and... 

Cloud service provider attains Level 1 BEE status

By: Simone Liedtke     9th March 2020 Cloud service provider Amazon Web Services South Africa (AWS ZA) has attained Level 1 broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) status. To achieve this, AWS ZA scored the maximum points for enterprise development, supplier development and ownership elements of the scorecard upon first... 

Platform established to address water, energy security issues in Southern Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th March 2020 German applied research organisation Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has partnered with Stellenbosch University (SU) to address water, energy and food security challenges in Southern Africa. The organisations’ joint platform is called Fraunhofer Innovation Platform (FIP) and involves four Fraunhofer... 

Digitalisation can rapidly mobilise equipment

By: Tracy Hancock     6th March 2020 Digitisation is playing a limited role in the procurement and mobilisation of construction equipment for capital projects, University of Pretoria (UP) project and quality management senior lecturer Dr Giel Bekker tells Engineering News. “Apart from built-in equipment information and tracking... 

Digitalisation can rapidly mobilise equipment
DIGITAL ENTERPRISE Local construction equipment suppliers are being more enterprising with regard to digital tools compared with renters

Companies urged to tap IT skills concentrated in some regions

By: Schalk Burger     6th March 2020 Concentrations of high-level information technology (IT) skills in various regions worldwide can be tapped to provide expertise and overcome constraints in local talent pools for companies concentrated in a region or market and multinational companies, says local industrial enterprise resource... 

Companies urged to tap IT skills  concentrated in some regions
TERENCE MOOLMAN Companies must have ongoing training initiatives to arm the workforce with the correct skills in an ever-changing world

Local foundry leads to AI partnership

By: Cameron Mackay     6th March 2020 With a strong focus on growing its international business, machine learning solutions provider, DataProphet, has signed a partnership with a leading metallic parts enhancement company, Norican Group, to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in the foundry industry. This came... 

Local foundry leads to AI partnership
SMART FOUNDRIES The aim is to improve manufacturing processes using AI in the foundry industry

Companies urged to embrace disruptive technology

By: Kim Cloete     5th March 2020 Companies and governments have been urged to embrace disruptive technology, as it can contribute to decarbonising energy and make it cleaner, greener and more accessible. Executives and experts attending the Africa Energy Indaba, in Cape Town, this week, outlined huge advances in electric... 

Altron gets green light for Ubusha buyout

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th March 2020   JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron) has secured Competition Commission approval for its R360-million acquisition of identity security company Ubusha Technologies. 

PIC terminates employment of listed equities head

3rd March 2020 The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has terminated the employment contract of its executive head of listed investments, Fidelis Madavo.  Madavo was suspended by the PIC board in January 2019 on the basis of a preliminary report into the PIC’s investment in listed technology company Ayo... 

Ellies restructure to impact jobs

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd March 2020 JSE-listed Ellies has issued a Section 189 that could result in more than 100 jobs at subsidiary Ellies Electronics being cut. The group is entering into a formal consultation process with relevant stakeholders as it restructures its goods receiving, warehousing, distribution, logistics and head... 

MTN Nigeria posts robust financial results

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd March 2020 Telecommunications group MTN Nigeria has ended the year to December 31, 2019, with double-digit growth across the board. The group on Monday posted a 31.1% rise in reported profit before tax to N290.1-billion, while profit after tax and earnings per share both increased by 38.8%. 

MTN Nigeria posts robust financial results

Accelerator to help start-up drone companies launched in Gauteng

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th February 2020 The first drone (unmanned air vehicle) startup accelerator programme in Africa was launched in Katlehong, south east of Johannesburg, on Friday. The programme is being hosted by the Ekurhuleni Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College. The initial programme is a pilot of the... 

Blue Label's earnings rise in first half

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th February 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms on Friday posted a turnaround in earnings during the half-year ended November 30, 2019. The group’s earnings per share (EPS) and headline earnings per share (HEPS) increased to a positive 34.83c and 39.98c apiece respectively from a loss and headline loss per share... 

Sita sponsors cyberlab at school in rural KZN

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th February 2020 The State Information Technology Agency (Sita) has sponsored an information and communication technology (ICT) laboratory at Manhlenga junior secondary school in Gazini village, in the uMhlabuyalingana local municipality. The sponsorship of a cyberlab for the rural KwaZulu-Natal school, 7km from... 

Pratley in push to increase export sales

By: Schalk Burger     28th February 2020 Electrical terminations specialist company Pratley is having a range of its products recertified, and new products certified in countries to which it exports as part of its drive to grow its exports and diversify the range of products sold in these markets, says Pratley CEO Kim Pratley. Expanding... 

Pratley in push to increase export sales
PERFORMANCE FOCUS The company is having its new products certified, and aims to grow exports

Does nuclear have a future in South Africa?

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th February 2020 Will South Africa ever build a new nuclear power plant (NPP)? Well, and I hope the revelation doesn’t ruin the dramatic flow of my narrative, I haven’t a clue. I don’t think anyone does. There is a lot of opposition to any such idea. Or, rather, there is a lot of opposition to the idea among... 

Cisco unveils multiyear plan for ‘building a new Internet’

By: Schalk Burger     28th February 2020 Information, communication and networking equipment and software multinational Cisco’s long-term technology strategy is based on development and investments in the three key technology areas of silicon, optics and software for building a new Internet, Cisco chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins says.... 

New legislation driven by global digitalisation

28th February 2020 New legislation is driving a slew of changes amid rapid and widespread global digitalisation and has made print feel the impacts of the changing world, says business management consultant Ricoh SA commercial and industrial print head Vaughan Patterson. He notes that, while the Protection of... 

Printing industry not dying but changing

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     28th February 2020 Despite the perception that printing is outdated or dying, customer communication management solutions provider InsideData North CEO Rafiq Sallie says it is more a case of the printing industry changing and becoming more creative and interactive. The perception that printing is dying stems from... 

Printing industry not dying but changing
EXPLORING NEW AVENUES The printing industry is changing, becoming more creative and interactive

National budget funds major science, technology and higher education projects

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th February 2020 Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has welcomed the allocations made to his departments (Higher Education and Training, and Science and Innovation) in the 2020 national budget. The budget assigns R396-billion to the two departments. Two major initiatives are being... 

National budget funds major science, technology and higher education projects
Photo by Donna Slater/Creamer Media
Dr Blade Nzimande

MTN Ghana delivers double-digit full-year growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th February 2020 Telecommunications company MTN Ghana has achieved double-digit growth for the year ended December 31, 2019, as voice, data and Mobile Money (MoMo) revenue surges. Service revenue increased by 22.8%, underpinned by growth in revenue of 19.4%, 32.5% and 28% respectively from voice, data and MoMo. 

Private equity fund eyes growth from early-stage 4IR startups

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th February 2020 As Campan exits its 20% stake in Ubusha Technologies, following JSE-listed Allied Electronics’ (Altron’s) 100% acquisition of the identity security provider, the private equity group is intensifying its focus on transformative Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) early-stage start-ups. Campan,... 

Adapt IT records contraction in interim profit, earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th February 2020 JSE-listed Adapt IT on Tuesday posted a double-digit decline in profit and earnings for the six months ended December 31. The group’s profit for the period contracted by 31% to R26-million for the interim period under review, while headline earnings per share (HEPS) and normalised HEPS decreased... 

MTN eSwatini appoints Wandile Mtshali CEO

By: Reuters     25th February 2020 MTN eSwatini, the local unit of telecoms group MTN, on Tuesday appointed Wandile Mtshali CEO after his predecessor was appointed PM of the Southern African kingdom. Mtshali, who holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Botswana in electronics and computer engineering, will take the helm... 

Deere taps tractor-hailing tech in bid to break ground in Africa

By: Reuters     25th February 2020 It's ride-hailing, farm style. Deere & Co is teaming up with the "Uber of tractors" in Africa and betting on a future where farmers summon machines with the touch of a button. The world's leading farm equipment maker is outfitting its tractors with startup Hello Tractor's technology, which allows... 

Rolls-Royce starts manufacture of the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st February 2020 UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced that it has started manufacturing the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades. These are for its UltraFan demonstrator power plant, which will be unprecedentedly efficient and sustainable. A full set of UltraFan blades will have a diameter of... 

Skilled-worker gap to widen as technology develops

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st February 2020 The gap between jobs and skilled workers is continuing to widen as the unprecedented speed of technological development brings rise to innovations and new business models that have changed the face of global economies. While 2019 proved to be a significant year for the technology sector, and 2020... 

Chemists develop process to turn rubbish into graphene

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2020 Rice University laboratory chemists, led by James Tour, have in the science journal Nature introduced a process by which almost any source of carbon can be turned into graphene flakes, the university said. The gram-scale bottom-up flash graphene synthesis process is quick and cheap and can... 

Chemists develop process to turn rubbish into graphene
FLASH GRAPHENE Undergraduate intern Christina Crassas, chemist James Tour and graduate students Paul Advincula and Duy Luong turn carbon black into graphene in a flash

Organisers aim high for defence and aerospace expo

By: Halima Frost     21st February 2020 Despite various challenges in South Africa, as well as in other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) Expo organisers hope to host a successful event this year, says AAD exhibition director Leona Redelinghuys. These difficulties include... 

Organisers aim high for  defence and aerospace expo
AIMING HIGH The Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo will showcase South African Air Force’s capabilities in an ever better air show this year

4IR vocational training a viable alternative to Grade 12

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2020 The digital world being ushered in by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) requires more than just office workers; it requires engineers, technicians and artisans. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) enables learners to further their studies, as it creates more opportunities... 

Fundi launches student accommodation digital platform

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th February 2020 Education funding and solutions provider Fundi on Thursday launched its new digital student accommodation platform, a single-access source for all things student accommodation. Launching the platform at the Rand Club, in Johannesburg, Fundi CEO Tshepo Ditshego said the organisation chose to... 

Safaricom likely to borrow to fund Ethiopia Telecom bid

By: , Bloomberg     20th February 2020 Safaricom, weighing an offer for Ethiopia’s telecom business later this year, plans to take on debt to fund a joint bid by a consortium including parent Vodacom Group and two other entities. “We do know the investment to build the network in Ethiopia will be big,” Safaricom’s interim Chief... 

R2K to picket over Rica privacy failure

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th February 2020 Advocacy organisation, the Right2Know (R2K) Campaign on Wednesday held protests in Pretoria and Cape Town against what it says is the failure of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) to protect South African citizens’ right... 

R2K to picket over Rica privacy failure

5G to support more than 10% of global mobile connections by 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th February 2020 Fifth-generation (5G) technologies are poised to support more than 10% of mobile connections globally as Internet connectivity rises over the next three years, a new report by information, communication and networking equipment and software multinational Cisco shows. By 2023, 66% of the global... 

Openserve says South Africa’s international connectivity restored

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th February 2020 Infrastructure provider Openserve says it has received confirmation from aboard cable ship Leon Thevenin that repairs to the damaged portion of the South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT3/WASC), offshore the Democratic Republic of Congo, have been completed. This concludes a long and... 

Vodafone Africa’s path to expansion is paved with $2 mini loans

By: , Bloomberg     17th February 2020 Vodacom Group sees its African financial services business as a cornerstone of growth as the wireless carrier expands into products such as funeral insurance and loans of as little as $2. The unit of the UK’s Vodafone Group uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to customize its... 

Blue Label to conclude 3G Mobile deal, Blue Label Mobile at advanced stage

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th February 2020 JSE-listed Blue Label is set to receive its R544-million asking price, after all suspensive conditions relating to the disposal of subsidiary The Prepaid Company’s (TPC’s) interest in the 3G Mobile handset trading operations were on Friday fulfilled. In September last year, Blue Label announced... 

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