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Technology & Communications News

Vodacom appoints interim CFO

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th June 2020 Telecommunications group Vodacom has appointed Sitho Mdlalose as interim CFO, effective July 1. This follows the resignation of Till Streichert, who will leave the position of CFO on June 30. 

Local app helps beauty salons manage queues as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease

By: Schalk Burger     26th June 2020 The Fleeker platform, created by four University of Cape Town (UCT) students, allows users to schedule appointments with hairstylists, barbers, make-up artists and nail technicians and manage long in-salon queues to meet physical distancing regulations during the Covid-19 pandemic. Physical... 

Aeroswift 3D printer project still ‘a key focus’, assures CSIR

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th June 2020 The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has confirmed to Engineering News & Mining Weekly that the Aeroswift additive manufacturing project remains “a key focus” for it. Additive manufacturing is popularly known as three-dimensional (3D) printing. Additive manufacturing involves... 

Subsea cable to improve connectivity in Africa

By: Tracy Hancock     26th June 2020 Submarine communications network supplier Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been appointed to build the 37 000-km-long 2Africa subsea cable – one of the largest subsea projects globally, which will connect 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. "We are honoured by the trust of our... 

Subsea cable to improve connectivity in Africa
CONNECTING AFRICA The 2Africa subsea cable will be the most comprehensive subsea cable to serve Africa and the Middle East

US research group says quantum computing at least a decade away for most businesses

By: Rebecca Campbell     25th June 2020 US research and data company Lux Research has, in its most recent report, “Preparing for Quantum Computing”, cautioned that quantum computing is still at least a decade away from being a useful, reliable technology for most businesses. While quantum computing promises to be able to solve complex... 

Competition Tribunal confirms MTN agreement

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th June 2020 The Competition Tribunal has approved a consent agreement between the Competition Commission and telecommunications group MTN on data pricing. In terms of the agreement, MTN will reduce the data prices of its 30-day prepaid bundles across channels; offer all its customers a daily free capped data... 

Altron progresses potential listing of Bytes Technology UK

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th June 2020 JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron) is actively progressing the potential separation and listing of its UK subsidiary Bytes Technology on the main market of the London Stock Exchange with a secondary listing on the JSE. The group on June 25 said it had appointed Numis Securities as the... 

MTN to launch 5G network in South Africa next week

By: Reuters     24th June 2020 Mobile operator MTN Group will launch its 5G commercial network in South Africa next week, joining Vodacom Group and Rain in the race to expand fifth-generation technology in the country. The firm said on Wednesday it is hosting a virtual launch event on June 30, where MTN South Africa CEO... 

New Digital Economy Master Plan nearly ready

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd June 2020 A new Digital Economy Master Plan is being developed to build a sustainable future digital ecosystem enabling South Africa to become a hub of all digital infrastructure serving the African continent. The Department Communications and Digital Technologies is preparing to publish the Digital... 

B4SA receives R13m worth of PPE donations from public, private sector

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd June 2020 In heeding Business for South Africa’s (B4SA’s) call for help, individuals and companies have donated more than 1.4-million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), valued at R13.2-million. B4SA in March launched a national donations drive called “Business Mzansi, we need you” that called... 

Cell C plans to lay off 960 workers as it streamlines operations

By: Reuters     23rd June 2020 South Africa's third-biggest telecom operator Cell C said on Monday it plans to lay off 960 workers as it restructures its operations to align the organisation with its new operating model. Unlisted Cell C, in which Blue Label Telecoms has a 45% stake, said it has initiated discussions with... 

Schneider Electric extends strategic partnerships to enable IT/OT convergence

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd June 2020 Energy management and automation provider Schneider Electric has announced the expansion of its partnerships with technology companies to address the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). Bringing together system integrators with IT solution providers to... 

Telkom redirects dividend payouts to spectrum, capital investment programme 

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd June 2020 JSE-listed Telkom has suspended its dividend payouts for the next three years from the 2021 financial year to redirect the capital to acquire much-needed spectrum and complete its capital expenditure (capex) programme to ensure future sustainability. The group, which announced its intention of... 

Telkom redirects dividend payouts to spectrum, capital investment programme
Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko and Group CFO Tsholofelo Molefe discuss the group’s financial results for the year ended March 31, 2020.

Visa launches new initiative to support small businesses in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th June 2020 Digital payments service provider Visa has launched a new initiative that aims to champion and enable entrepreneurs in South Africa, while encouraging consumers to support small businesses. Having launched on June 17, Visa’s initiative is aimed at supporting small businesses through the Visa... 

AI-powered predictive maintenance engenders costs savings, says GlobalData

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th June 2020 Predictive maintenance techniques powered by artificial intelligence (AI) are helping enterprises across industries to find patterns that can avoid machine failures. Unlike AI, traditional business intelligence systems are not designed to handle huge volumes of industrial Internet of things (IoT)... 

Reunert first-half earnings plunge

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th June 2020 JSE-listed Reunert reported a double-digit decline in earnings as its Electrical Engineering segment’s underperformance overshadowed the growth of its other units during the six months ended March 31. The group posted a 186% contraction during the six months under review, plunging its operating... 

Rolls-Royce commits to United Nations’ climate goals for 2030 and 2050

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th June 2020 UK-based industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced that it has joined the United Nations’ (UN’s) ‘Race to Zero’ campaign, as a consequence of which the company has committed itself to achieving net zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2030. In its statement, the company... 

Mobile data traffic in sub-Saharan Africa to grow 12 times by 2025

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th June 2020 Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the fastest growing mobile markets, with mobile traffic set to expand 12 times its current rates by 2025. The latest edition of global information and communication technology giant Ericsson’s Mobility Report shows mobile traffic in sub-Saharan Africa growing... 

Telkom to report drop in earnings for year

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th June 2020 JSE-listed Telkom expects a double-digit drop in earnings for the year ended March 31 as restructure costs and one-off Covid-19-related impairments slash headline earnings per share (HEPS) and basic earnings per share (BEPS). HEPS is expected to decrease between 65% and 70% to between 186.2 c and... 

UK announces cybersecurity research grants to university research team

By: Rebecca Campbell     15th June 2020 The British government has awarded £10-million, spread over four years, to nine research teams at UK universities, to develop innovative cybersecurity technologies. These nine research teams were the winners in the latest round of Britain’s Digital Security by Design grant competition. The aim of... 

CSIR gives assurance that its Aeroswift 3D Printer project is still alive

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th June 2020 The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has confirmed to Engineering News that the Aeroswift additive manufacturing project remains “a key focus” for it. The project was originally established in 2011 in cooperation with the then Aerosud group. The Aeroswift machine, based on the... 

CSIR gives assurance that its Aeroswift 3D Printer project is still alive

US space agency awards major commercial lunar lander contract

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th June 2020 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), has awarded a $199.5-million contract to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based space robotics company Astrobotic Technology, to land Nasa’s Viper lunar rover at the Moon’s south pole in late 2023. The Viper will be carried... 

US space agency awards major commercial lunar lander contract
Photo by Astrobotic Technology
An artist’s impression of the Viper lander deploying off the Griffin lander on the Moon

Invicta helps manufacture health equipment in global philanthropist initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th June 2020 JSE-listed hardware company Invicta Holdings has been appointed to help produce bridge ventilators and oxygen helmets, which will be distributed to other African countries in the battle against Covid-19. African and global philanthropists have teamed up to help African nations secure urgently... 

Invicta helps manufacture health equipment in global philanthropist initiative
Virgin Orbit ventilator

Huawei launches IdeaHub for sub-Saharan Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th June 2020 Information and communication technology (ICT) giant Huawei has launched a new intelligent productivity and collaboration tool to drive enterprise collaboration in sub-Saharan Africa. Huawei IdeaHub will enable an all-scenario smart office, with an intelligent endpoint integrating multiple... 

Ethiopian company awarded grant to support its anti-Covid-19 UVC Room Steriliser

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th June 2020 Private-sector Ethiopian healthcare research and development company Simbona Africa has been awarded a $15 000 Covid-19 response grant from Kenyan health innovation impact investor Villgro Kenya. This was in support of an UVC Room Steriliser developed by the Ethiopian company. Simbona Africa is... 

Ethiopian company awarded grant to support its anti-Covid-19 UVC Room Steriliser
Photo by Villgro Kenya
The UVC Room Steriliser being demonstrated at Jimma University

First free WiFi hotspots for Witsand installed

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th June 2020 The first WiFi-enabled solar street lights have gone live as hotspots in Witsand, Atlantis, three months after nonprofit organisation GreenCape and Cape Town based service provider ThinkWiFi teamed up under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). GreenCape’s Alternative Service Delivery Unit (ASDU)... 

Africa still viable for business

By: Tracy Hancock     12th June 2020 It is possible to work in most African countries, provided there is an investor-friendly fiscal regime, the correct asset, a diverse management team and a flexible execution strategy, says mining consultancy Madini’s Andries Cilliers. Madini has supported African mining projects for the past 20... 

Africa still viable for business
Photo by Credit: Alufer Mining
GUINEA-FOCUSED Madini is focused on Guinea, where it has been involved from first drill hole through to production at Alufer Mining’s Bel Air Mining bauxite project

Future trends report points to rapidly changing business environment

By: Donna Slater     11th June 2020 Progressing from Covid-19 will require a realignment of business fundamentals, with increased demand for products and services consumers find meaningful and socially and environmentally responsible, says professional services firm Accenture Interactive’s design and innovation practice Fjord.... 

Local scientists isolate Covid-19 RNA from sewage 

By: Schalk Burger     11th June 2020 A commercial South African laboratory says it has extracted Covid-19 ribonucleic acid (RNA) from various sewage samples in the country as a proof of concept, after the Netherlands research agency KWR entered into an agreement with the South Africa Business Water Chamber in April. It was KWR that... 

Digital tools can help South Africans improve their password security

By: Schalk Burger     11th June 2020 Various digital tools can improve the security of passwords used in South Africa by helping users to generate secure complex passwords for a large number of applications, securely store them and change them regularly, says cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky consumer product marketing head... 

CSIR and DBSA sign cooperative framework agreement

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th June 2020 South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) have signed a framework agreement to cooperate to support socioeconomic development in South Africa and Southern Africa through the development of technology and infrastructure.... 

Solidarity Fund prioritises grants to increase Covid-19 testing

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th June 2020 The national Solidarity Fund has focused on granting funds for testing, in light of the rapid spread of Covid-19 infections as lockdown measures have eased in South Africa. The fund has supported the National Health Laboratory Service with a grant of R250-million, which will assist in the... 

Helios subsidiary prices notes, enters new credit facility

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th June 2020 Helios Towers indirect wholly owned subsidiary the HTA Group has announced the successful $750-million pricing of its offering of 7% senior notes due 2025, guaranteed on a senior basis by the company and certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries. HTA will pay interest on the notes... 

One-time verification an alternative to OTP for customer identity validation processes

By: Schalk Burger     9th June 2020 One-time verification (OTV) is a biometric-based technology that is used to validate customer identities remotely and securely, while also enabling companies to more effectively capture, store and protect customer data, says biometric identity service provider WhoYou business development director... 

Insurance, finance and retail most at risk from cybercrime in South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     9th June 2020 An increase in cyberattacks by criminals taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic has introduced new structural and operational risks, with insurance, finance and retail sectors the most targeted sectors in South Africa, says information technology service multinational Dimension Data Security... 

Huge appoints commercial director

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th June 2020 JSE-listed Huge Group has appointed Stephen Morony as subsidiary Huge Telecom commercial director, effective June 8. Morony, who joins Huge from Cell C, where he headed up the end-to-end management of Cell C’s Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) business, has over 20 years of experience in the... 

CCMA launches digital platform for case processes

By: Simone Liedtke     9th June 2020 To ensure efficient and effective case referral and application processes, which are also safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has introduced a free digital platform for CCMA users to refer conciliation and arbitration disputes and... 

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