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Technology & Communications News

EOH reports positive third-quarter Ebitda

By: Schalk Burger     9th June 2020 Information technology services company EOH on June 9 reported that it had achieved positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) during the third quarter, ended April 30. While revenue did experience downward pressure owing to the lock down, the company... 

IoT to be part of new business operations and digital presence, says SqwidNet

By: Schalk Burger     8th June 2020 Business, commerce and industry will increasingly use the Internet of Things (IoT) to provide visibility of assets and production, support digital channels to market and create a clear online presence, says industrial networking and IoT firm SqwidNet MD Phathizwe Malinga. The first step is to... 

Airbus reports on progress by the Solar Orbiter spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th June 2020 Airbus Defence and Space, a division of the giant aerospace group Airbus, reported on June 8 that the Solar Orbiter (SolO) spacecraft is now some 105-million kilometres from Earth, heading for the Sun. (The distance between the Earth and the Sun is nearly 152-million kilometres.) Airbus designed... 

Airbus reports on progress by the Solar Orbiter spacecraft
Photo by Airbus
An artist’s impression of the SolO spacecraft approaching the Sun

Nasa awards key contract for Moon-orbiting Gateway spacecraft

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th June 2020 The US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), has announced another major step in the implementation of its Artemis crewed deep space exploration programme. It has finalised the design contract for crew module for the Gateway “outpost” that will orbit the Moon.... 

Nasa awards key contract for Moon-orbiting Gateway spacecraft
Photo by Nasa
An artist’s impression of the Lunar Gateway, composed of the Halo and the PPE

MTN faces new allegations in US complaint

By: Reuters     7th June 2020 South African telecoms firm MTN faces new allegations of aiding militant groups in Afghanistan, including paying protection money, in an amended lawsuit filed on behalf of hundreds of families of US soldiers. The original lawsuit was aimed at least eight multinational companies -- including MTN,... 

Connectivity, collaboration important for remote working

By: Schalk Burger     5th June 2020 Enabling effective remote working requires that companies and remote workers have the tools to collaborate and share, and these tools must also work well together to avoid duplication of data and efforts, says digital business tools multinational Zoho Africa region manager Andrew Bourne.... 

Digital hub to develop IT, animation, gaming skills in Tshwane

By: Schalk Burger     5th June 2020 Nonprofit organisation AfricaBeyond4IR's (AB4IR's) Digital Hub is hosting a series of webinars to develop animation, gaming and programme development skills among the youth and entrepreneurs in Tshwane. The Digital Hub, located in Mabopane Odi Campus, is a collaboration between the Small... 

Rolls-Royce commits to United Nations’ zero carbon emissions goals for 2030 and 2050

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th 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... 

WHO reiterates importance of lockdowns to ‘slow the spread’ of Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     4th June 2020 Lockdowns, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, have been “a challenging balance” to maintain, says World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa regional director Dr Matshidiso Moeti. She notes, however, that while the economic impacts thereof have been severe, “an out of control spread of the... 

WEF, Prince of Wales launch Great Reset initiative to drive global change  

By: Simone Liedtke     4th June 2020 With the Covid-19 pandemic having exposed various existing societal fault lines and laid bare a fundamental lack of social cohesion, fairness, inclusion and equality, the World Economic Forum (WEF) on June 3 announced the launch of its Great Reset initiative. Drawing from the vision and vast... 

Covid-19 hampers Wits platinum recycling laboratory

By: Donna Slater     3rd June 2020 The prevailing Covid-19 pandemic has brought research and innovations into recycling platinum-group metals (PGMs) from disused catalytic converts, led by two University of Witwatersrand (Wits) MSc graduates Collins Saguru and Muofhe Singo, to a near standstill. The duo have ventured into the... 

Covid-19 hampers Wits platinum recycling laboratory
Collins Saguru

Vodacom achieves level 1 BEE status

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd June 2020 Telecommunications group Vodacom Group has achieved a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) contributor score of Level 1 its local subsidiaries accelerate a concerted transformation strategy. As a result of these efforts, the group exceeded its financial year 2019/20 targets against all... 

Rockwell releases industrial cybersecurity assessment app

By: Schalk Burger     2nd June 2020 Industrial technology multinational Rockwell Automation has released a new app to help operations managers, plant floor managers and information technology/operational technology (IT/OT) professionals gauge levels of operational risk within their connected infrastructures. The Assessment Hub app... 

Digital enterprises needed to ensure effective remote working

By: Schalk Burger     2nd June 2020 To take advantage of a digitally-connected, remote workforce, enterprises should use digital workers, such as robotic process automation, chatbots and virtual assistants, to do repetitive work or data analysis while employees focus on decision-, direction- and emotional tasks supported by the... 

Ramaphosa congratulates Musk on success of CrewDragon space flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st June 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on June 1 sent warm congratulations to South African-born engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk on the success of the first crewed commercial space flight in history. Musk is the founder and chief engineer of US enterprise SpaceX. “In the midst of our... 

Ramaphosa congratulates Musk on success of CrewDragon space flight
Photo by Nasa
The CrewDragon space capsule about to dock with the International Space Station, with its nose cone open, revealing docking attachment points and the crew transfer hatch

Astronauts carried into space by commercial spacecraft from SpaceX

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st June 2020 Space history was made on May 30 when two American astronauts (Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley) were carried into space by a commercial spacecraft. This was the Crew Dragon space capsule, launched on a Falcon 9 rocket, the entire system being the product of the SpaceX company, founded by South... 

Astronauts carried into space by commercial spacecraft from SpaceX
Photo by Nasa
The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft lifts off from KSC on May 30.

Telenor, Sony and Ericsson team to develop smart IoT devices

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st June 2020 Ericsson, Sony Network Communications Europe and Telenor Connexion are collaborating to enhance intelligent real-time location, tracking and monitoring solutions for different sectors using the Internet of Things (IoT). The trio are leveraging Telenor's network, Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator for... 

Jasco CEO steps down, company monitors Covid-19 impact

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th May 2020 JSE-listed Jasco Electronics CEO Mark Janse van Vuuren has resigned, effective May 31, after a restructure. Deputy chairperson alternate Pete da Silva will serve as interim CEO as the board evaluates potential successors. 

New Sansa/Nasa project hopefully to start operations in late 2024 

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th May 2020 The project for a new deep space network ground station in South Africa, which is a collaborative venture between the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and its American counterpart, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), is still in its study phase, Sansa Space... 

New Sansa/Nasa project hopefully to start operations in late 2024
Photo by SANSA
The rising sun silhouettes three of the dish antennas at SANSA Space Operations Hartebeesthoek complex

Huawei unveils P40 Pro in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th May 2020 Information and communication technology giant Huawei has launched its new Huawei P40 series in South Africa. The new generation mobile phone series, powered by Kirin 990 fifth-generation (5G) and supporting high-speed 5G and WiFi 6 Plus, represents Huawei’s vision of the future of mobile imaging... 

Absa donates R5m to Universities South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th May 2020 Banking group Absa has sponsored learning devices and mobile data valued at R5-million to Universities South Africa (USAf). USAf and Absa plan to distribute the devices to six identified universities to enable online or remote learning for students. 

Cabinet approves new partnership between South African and US space agencies

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th May 2020 During its latest meeting (on May 27) the South African Cabinet approved a partnership between the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and its US counterpart, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa). This partnership will see South Africa hosting one of the ground... 

Small businesses urged to continuously upskill IT personnel

By: Schalk Burger     29th May 2020 Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must define the scope of information technology (IT) work and skills they require, and should continuously invest in the upskilling of these individuals through courses and exams, ensuring they have all necessary qualifications to support the SME's... 

Expedited change in stainless steel industry expected

By: Tracy Hancock     29th May 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic will have long-term ramifications, including permanent change in the South African stainless steel industry, Southern African Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) acting executive director Michel Basson tells Engineering News. “The stainless steel industry could... 

Expedited change in  stainless steel industry expected
ADDED STRESS The national lockdown has compounded the challenges faced by the already stressed stainless steel industry

Kaspersky develops cybercapacity training programme to bolster IT resilience

By: Schalk Burger     29th May 2020 Cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky announced on May 19 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... 

Agility needed in sector transformation

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 The world is rapidly changing, with the onslaught of Covid-19 catalysing and concentrating the drivers behind this change. Consequently, manufacturers need to be agile in adapting their systems and processes, remain lean and use digital enablers in a digital transformation to remain relevant and... 

Agility needed in  sector transformation
CONNECTING THE DOTS Digitalisation leads to connected plants and connected supply chains, which provides immediate benefits of reliability, stability, immediacy and agility

Manufacturers can use lockdown to fine-tune ERP

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 The priority for many manufacturers amid the Covid-19 lockdown involves “getting back to basics” in terms of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management, says ERP systems provider Syspro professional services head Doug Hunter. “This includes ensuring visibility of what is... 

Manufacturers can use lockdown to fine-tune ERP
TAKING STOCK OF THE SITUATION The lockdown has provided a good opportunity for companies to check their ERP systems and ensure that they are being used properly and to their full potential

Samsung achieves BBBEE Level One status for second consecutive year

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th May 2020 Electronics company Samsung South Africa has taken another step forward to build on its transformational vision, with the company securing a broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) Level 1 contribution status for the second consecutive year. This certification is aligned with Samsung’s... 

Vodacom zero rates what3words website

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th May 2020 Telecommunications group Vodacom has zero-rated the emergency location tracker platform ‘what3words’ for its more than 43-million subscribers across South Africa. The what3words technology, available as a mobile application or an online map, has divided the world into a grid of 3m squares, with... 

Vodacom zero rates what3words website

Koch industries completes acquisition of Infor

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th May 2020 Wichita-based private company Koch Industries has completed the acquisition of the remaining portion of Infor from San Francisco-based private equity investment firm Golden Gate Capital. Infor, a global company in business cloud software, has been a key component of Koch Industries’ technological... 

Koch industries completes acquisition of Infor
Mark Bannerman

Wyzetalk secures Dutch investor to drive European footprint growth

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th May 2020 Dutch software-focused investment company CNBB Venture Partners has made a multimillion-euro investment in digital employee engagement company Wyzetalk. Wyzetalk connects large organisations with their frontline employees through its software solution to improve communication, increase employee... 

NWU comes up with creative solution to screen pupils for Covid-19 using cellphones

By: News24Wire      27th May 2020 In the times in which we currently find ourselves, adequate healthcare and accompanying screening are of the utmost importance to limit the spread of the coronavirus. As the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announced that Grade 7 and Grade 12 pupils will be able to return to schools... 

NWU comes up with creative solution to screen pupils for Covid-19 using cellphones

Datatec posts strong results as Westcon turns around fortunes 

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th May 2020 JSE-listed Datatec on Wednesday May 27 posted strong results for the year ended February 29, as Westcon International returns to profitability and Logicalis Latin America produces an “exceptional performance”. The information and communications technology (ICT) group reported earnings before... 

Datatec posts strong results as Westcon turns around fortunes
Datatec CEO Jens Montana and CFO Ivan Dittrich discuss the company's results for the year ended February

IT professionals report increased cybersecurity threats related to remote working

By: Schalk Burger     26th May 2020 A survey has found that 71% of information technology (IT) and security professionals have reported an increase in security threats related to remote working, while Interpol and Europol have warned of a huge spike in Covid-19-related fraud, says cybersecurity multinational Check Point Africa... 

WEF provides action plan principles to combat Covid-19 cybersecurity risks

By: Schalk Burger     26th May 2020 The World Economic Forum (WEF) on May 26 launched its 'Cybersecurity Leadership Principles: Lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic to prepare for the new normal' report to support business leaders to reinforce the cyber resilience of their organisations. In a matter of weeks, the pandemic... 

Australian-led international astronomy team finds ring-of-fire galaxy in early universe

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th May 2020 An Australian-led international team of astronomers has reported the discovery of an extremely rare type of galaxy, early in the history of the universe. The galaxy, designated R5519, was discovered using spectroscopic data collected by the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii and images taken by the... 

Australian-led international astronomy team finds ring-of-fire galaxy in early universe
Photo by James Josephides/Swinburne Astronomy Productions
Composite image of galaxy R5519

Trend Micro research highlights emerging deepfake ransomware, AI bot threats

By: Schalk Burger     26th May 2020 Cybersecurity multinational Trend Micro has warned businesses about emerging threats, such as Deepfake ransomware, artificial intelligence (AI) bots, access-as-a-service and targeted subscriber identity module- (SIM-) swapping. "A layered, risk-based response is vital for mitigating the risk... 

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