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Technology & Communications News

SA Novavax vaccine trial shows efficacy against B.1.351 Covid-19 variant 

By: Sane Dhlamini     6th May 2021 Results from the University of the Witwatersrand Novavax coronavirus vaccine trial show 51% efficacy against the B.1.351 variant in a South African study with HIV negative participants. A group in the trial, which included people who are HIV positive, showed 43% efficacy. Novavax is a... 

Commercialisation of university innovation presents opportunities for South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2021 The commercialisation of university intellectual property (IP) and technology innovation presents considerable opportunities for South Africa and would help engender a positive impact on society and economic growth, independent technology transfer consultant Tom Hockaday has said. He was speaking... 

Technology Innovation Agency funds the development of an affordable Internet solution for townships

By: Yvonne Silaule     5th May 2021 Gauteng-based startup FibrePoynt is developing an alternative antenna-based high-speed fixed Internet solution for low-income communities. The solution is being funded by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation. 

Technology, business strategies should align to ensure businesses are future-ready

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th May 2021 Global advisory services group Deloitte has released its twelfth yearly technology trends report, outlining the evolving technology landscape and the industry disruptors for the next 18 to 24 months. This year’s edition of the Deloitte Tech Trends 2021 report showcases nine trends such as... 

MTN reports strong first quarter results

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th May 2021 Telecommunications group MTN reported strong first quarter operational and financial results with data and fintech revenue driving service revenue beyond the company’s medium-term guidance. The group’s service revenue increased 17.8% to R42.3-billion during the three months to March. 

Fast-paced innovation driving the space industry to new heights – KSAT

By: Donna Slater     4th May 2021 A much faster pace of innovation currently taking place in the space industry is driving a “new space revolution”, Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) executive VP Arnulf Kjeldsen has said. Speaking during the 2021 SpaceOps Conference, on the topic of Commercial Ground Stations: New Space and... 

New chief technology officer to lead on ICT, technology at the PIC

By: Schalk Burger     4th May 2021 The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has appointed Makano Mosidi as its new chief technology officer (CTO). Her mandate is to provide sound leadership in all aspects of the business’ information and communications technology (ICT), and leverage technology to position the PIC as a leading asset... 

MTN Rwandacell lists on the Rwanda Stock Exchange

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th May 2021 Telecommunications group MTN Rwandacell has become the first mobile network operator to list its shares on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE). Crystal Telecoms’ shareholders now hold a direct 20% stake in MTN Rwanda and can trade their MTN Rwanda shares directly on the RSE as part of the May 4... 

Telkom launches new whistleblowing channels

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th May 2021 Telecommunications group Telkom has unveiled a new platform for the public to report any acts or suspected acts of fraud, corruption and irregular conduct within the organisation to ensure that it remains corruption- and fraud-free. As part of the group’s ethics and corporate governance... 

New insurance against cybercrime, data breaches will cover costs and damages

By: Schalk Burger     4th May 2021 Insurance technology start-up Surestart has developed an insurance offering for digital businesses and their customers that will cover the costs and damages caused by privacy breaches or network security breaches. Such items were previously uninsurable, says Surestart executive director Travys... 

Samsung hits third BBBEE contribution status target

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd May 2021 Technology group Samsung has achieved its third successive Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Level 1 contribution status. The company strongly believes in the transformative power of technology and innovation to effect societal change and says it is fully committed to empowering... 

South African, African space industries set for large-scale growth – Sansa 

By: Donna Slater     3rd May 2021 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) is set to grow by 100 times over what it is normally used to over the next two years as Africa expands its “Space Agenda” and space ambitions, Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami has said. He gave the keynote address at the 2021 SpaceOps Conference, which... 

Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami
Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami

Nasa’s Mars helicopter exceeds expectations and is assigned new mission

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd May 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has announced that its Ingenuity Mars drone helicopter has proven so successful that it has been assigned a new mission. Originally intended to be purely a technology demonstrator, to establish that powered and controlled flight was... 

The Ingenuity drone helicopter (centre-left) sitting on the Martian surface, photographed by the Perseverance rover (part of which is visible on the right)
Photo by Nasa
The Ingenuity drone helicopter (centre-left) sitting on the Martian surface, photographed by the Perseverance rover (part of which is visible on the right)

Waspa elects new chairperson, office bearers for 2021

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd May 2021 The Wireless Application Service Providers' Association (Waspa) has elected BaspaDE Attorneys founding director and long-standing board member Anthony Ekerold as its new chairperson. Ekerold, who previously served as Waspa vice chairperson between 2013 and 2017, as chairperson in 2018 and as... 

First Nasa/SpaceX commercial crew space mission successfully completed

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd May 2021 The first operational commercial crew mission, flown by private-sector space company SpaceX on behalf of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), came to a successful end on Sunday, when the Crew Dragon space capsule successfully splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico. SpaceX was... 

Astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi, onboard Crew Dragon Resilience, after it was picked up by the SpaceX recovery ship
Photo by Nasa
Astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi, onboard Crew Dragon Resilience, after it was picked up by the SpaceX recovery ship

Takeover authority grants Adapt IT an extension on Volaris acquisition

By: News24Wire      3rd May 2021 Adapt IT shareholders will have to wait a little longer for Volaris Group’s acquisition offer circular, after the Takeover Regulation Panel granted the company an extension to evaluate the offer. The local technology company has captured the interest of Canada’s Volaris, which announced its... 

EOH assures customers of its transparent and ethical practices as legacy contracts near an end

By: Schalk Burger     30th April 2021 Information technology services provider EOH, responding to media reports in April about its irregular legacy contracts, said issues raised in the media reports are largely as a result of EOH’s transformation strategy, which has been systematically and regularly reported to all stakeholders. The... 

EOH CEO Stephen van Coller
EOH CEO Stephen van Coller

New system to advance precision health

30th April 2021 Medical technologies and digital infrastructure provider GE Healthcare unveiled StarGuide, a next-generation single-photon emission computerised tomography/computerised tomography (SPECT/CT) system that uses the latest digital technologies to help clinicians improve patient outcomes in bone... 

MEDICAL ADVANCEMENTS 
GE Healthcare unveiled StarGuide, a next-generation SPECT/CT system that uses the latest digital technologies to help clinicians improve patient outcomes in bone
MEDICAL ADVANCEMENTS GE Healthcare unveiled StarGuide, a next-generation SPECT/CT system that uses the latest digital technologies to help clinicians improve patient outcomes in bone

Registration opens for Milken Institute, Motsepe Foundation’s $2m AgriTech prize

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th April 2021 Nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank the Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation have launched the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize programme. The multiyear initiative focuses on global innovators and entrepreneurs developing technological solutions that accelerate progress towards implementing... 

Finland supports 4IR education and reducing the digital divide in Southern Africa

By: Schalk Burger     28th April 2021 Local Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) laboratory and education facility Forge Academy on April 28 said Finland has reiterated its intention to help narrow the digital divide in Southern Africa by focusing on skills development in the technology sector. “The global digital divide poses a... 

Altron to report significant surge in earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th April 2021 JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron) expects its basic earnings per share (BEPS) to increase more than 100% for the year-ended February 28 owing to the Bytes Technology Group demerger in December. Altron expects its BEPS to be between 3 256c and 3 270c apiece, compared with the restated BEPS of... 

MTN eyes telecoms licence in Ethiopia

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th April 2021 Telecommunications group MTN and its equity partners are bidding for a telecommunications licence in Ethiopia. “Ethiopia provides the largest telecommunication and digital services growth opportunity in Africa over the medium term and fits into our pan-Africa focus and platform strategy. We are... 

China preparing to launch the first module of its new, larger space station

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th April 2021 The rocket carrying the first module for China’s own national space station is now on its launchpad at the country’s Wenchang spaceport, the journal Spacenews has reported. The rocket was rolled out to the launchpad early on Friday local time (that is, some time late Thursday South African time)... 

The Long March 5B rocket carrying the Tianhe core module is rolled out to its launchpad
Photo by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation
The Long March 5B rocket carrying the Tianhe core module is rolled out to its launchpad

SpaceX again delivers astronauts safely to space station

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th April 2021 US space company SpaceX, founded and led by South African engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk, has successfully executed its second operational crew delivery flight to the International Space Station (ISS), on behalf of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa). If the original... 

SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour (upper left) approaches the ISS (right foreground) for docking
Photo by Nasa
SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour (upper left) approaches the ISS (right foreground) for docking

South African companies' cyber-preparedness lacking

By: Schalk Burger     23rd April 2021 Email security and cyber-resilience company Mimecast's '2021 State of Email Security' report showed that 47% of South African companies surveyed were infected by ransomware during 2020 and that 48% of South African organisations reported significant increases in the volume of email, but 12% still... 

Mars helicopter Ingenuity is expanding its flight envelope

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd April 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Nasa) has announced that its Ingenuity drone helicopter made a successful second flight on Mars on Thursday. This flight, although still brief, significantly expanded the machine’s flight envelope. The little helicopter and its control algorithms were... 

Ingenuity photographed by the Perseverance rover during the helicopter’s second flight
Photo by Nasa
Ingenuity photographed by the Perseverance rover during the helicopter’s second flight

EOH clarifies SIU statement, says started repaying State funds in October

By: Schalk Burger     23rd April 2021 Information technology services company EOH on April 23 clarified that it had entered into an acknowledgement of debt (AoD) with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) at the end of September 2020 and that it had started monthly payments in terms of the AoD from October 5, 2020. It also highlighted... 

Tech assists water utilities improve sewer systems

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     23rd April 2021 Water technology company Xylem Africa offers the BLU-X wastewater network optimisation technology to water utilities for better control over the performance and capacity of their sewer system assets. “BLU-X helps utilities to reduce sewerage overflow, detect sewer blockages, minimise flooding... 

PROBLEM SOLVED
The power behind BLU-X is not only the data collected but also the meaningful insights generated that will enable utilities to make informed decisions
PROBLEM SOLVED The power behind BLU-X is not only the data collected but also the meaningful insights generated that will enable utilities to make informed decisions

IT professionals institute questions plan to create State IT infrastructure company

By: Schalk Burger     22nd April 2021 Industry association the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) has questioned the need for the creation of a a State Digital Infrastructure Company (SDIC) and High-Performance Computing and Data Processing Centre (HPCDPC), as outlined in the Department of... 

Icasa calls for public comment on review of disaster frequency regulations

By: Schalk Burger     22nd April 2021 Telecommunications regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has called for written comments on the review of the Information and Communications Technology Covid-19 National Disaster Regulations. The issues of consultation in the submissions must include the... 

Nasa scores another technology first on Mars

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd April 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa’s) latest Mars mission has recorded another first. Yet another technology demonstration unit carried to the Red Planet by the Perseverance lander has demonstrated success. This technology demonstrator is named the Mars Oxygen In-Situ... 

The Moxie instrument is lowered into its place in the Perseverance lander, during the latter’s final assembly.
Photo by Nasa
The Moxie instrument is lowered into its place in the Perseverance lander, during the latter’s final assembly.

NRF seals agreement to send PhD students to US under Fulbright programme

By: Schalk Burger     21st April 2021 The National Research Foundation (NRF) has partnered with the Fulbright Foreign Student Programme (FFSP) to support NRF-funded PhD students registered with a South African university to travel to the US to conduct research towards their doctorates at a host US institution or university. This... 

Vodacom, AUDA-Nepad launch mVacciNation digital toolbox 

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st April 2021 Telecommunications giant Vodacom Group and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-Nepad) have joined forces to deploy a mobile technology platform that manages vaccination appointments and stock availability. Developed by Vodacom Group member Mezzanine, the mVacciNation digital toolbox will... 

Vodacom, AUDA-Nepad launch mVacciNation digital toolbox

Nasa provides more details on first flight of Mars drone helicopter

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th April 2021 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has released more details about the first ever flight by a human-built aircraft on another planet. The aircraft, an autonomous drone helicopter designated Ingenuity, made its maiden flight, on Mars, on Monday. That flight lasted a total... 

Cell C reports full-year loss, assures company stabilised 

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th April 2021 Telecommunications group Cell C has reported a full-year loss of R5.5-billion during the 12 months ended December 31, 2020, widening from the loss of R4-billion reported in 2019. However, the company returned to profit during the second half of the year, reporting a profit before tax of... 

Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson
Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson and Cell C CFO Zaf Mahomed discuss Cell C’s financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2020.

SpaceX wins Nasa contract to land next astronauts on the Moon

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th April 2021 US private-sector space company SpaceX, founded and led by South African-born engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk, has been awarded what is probably the most prestigious single contract in the space sector today. The US National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Nasa) has selected SpaceX to supply... 

An artist’s impression of a Starship HLS on the lunar surface
Photo by SpaceX
An artist’s impression of a Starship HLS on the lunar surface

Altron subsidiary to buy LawTrust

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th April 2021 Allied Electronics (Altron) subsidiary Altron TMTSA is planning to acquire JSE-listed Etion cyber and information security subsidiary LawTrust for R245-million. The duo entered into an agreement that will see Altron TMT absorb LawTrust to enhance its information technology (IT) security service... 

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