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Technology & Communications News

Altron’s Altech Radio Holdings rebrands as Altron Nexus

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd November 2018 JSE-listed information and communications technology (ICT) giant Allied Electronics (Altron) subsidiary Altech Radio Holdings has been rebranded as Altron Nexus. This follows on the parent company’s brand repositioning, which unites all its businesses under one brand identity. 

SA leading other emerging economies in key areas of additive manufacturing

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd November 2018 South Africa is one of the leaders in Additive Manufacturing (AM) among emerging and developing countries, Dr Jorge Vicente Lopes da Silva tells "Engineering News". Lopes da Silva is an AM researcher at the Brazilian Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation's Renato Archer... 

UCT growing bricks of any shape from urine

By: Schalk Burger     23rd November 2018 The University of Cape Town (UCT) Civil Engineering Department has developed a process to grow bricks that can be any shape using sand, bacteria and human urine. The bricks are made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) – the same substance as limestone, coral reefs, egg- and seashells – and sand cemented... 

UCT growing bricks of any shape from urine
GROWING BRICKS Sand, bacteria, fertiliser and urine produce calcium carbonate bricks in any shape

South Africa improves broadband pricing ranking

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd November 2018 South Africa’s ranking in’s yearly benchmark of broadband pricing has improved to 93 – out of 195 countries – from a ranking of 102 in 2017. Thirty-six South African broadband packages were measured, showing an average package cost a month of R782.19, or $55.25, in 2018, down from... 

Cryptocurrencies gaining traction

By: Schalk Burger     23rd November 2018 Cryptocurrencies, which are blockchain-enabled and digitally encrypted representations of financial value, are gaining more prominence among the general populace and have moved beyond solely speculative assets, a survey commissioned by cryptocurrency trading platform Luno says. Luno South Africa... 

Cryptocurrencies gaining traction
MARIUS REITZ Cryptocurrencies are suitable for use in a digital economy

Ramaphosa merges Ministries in Cabinet reshuffle 

By: Sashnee Moodley     22nd November 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday in his much anticipated Cabinet reshuffle the merging of the Telecommunications and Postal Services Ministry with the Communications Ministry, under the leadership of Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. The merger will take place after the 2019... 

Ramaphosa merges Ministries in Cabinet reshuffle
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Cell C turns to Blue Label, banks to refinance onerous debt

By: Bloomberg     22nd November 2018 Cell C said it’s refinanced R1.4-billion ($100-million) of debt on better terms with loans from its biggest shareholder and a consortium of banks as the South African wireless carrier considers a listing in 2020. South Africa’s third-largest operator is also in talks with vendors including Huawei... 

Icasa starts inquiry into the mobile broadband market

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th November 2018 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has launched an inquiry into the mobile broadband market as part of its efforts and interventions to reduce the high cost of communication in the country. The notice of intention, published last week, is the third intervention by... 

South Africa is making strides in physics, but lags in gender equality

By: Kim Cloete     20th November 2018 South Africa is making strides in the field of physics, as well as steady progress in developing and appointing black researchers in the field, but is lagging way behind in gender equality, a study has shown. “Over the period 2005 to 2015, the impact of South African physics publications has... 

South Africa marks ten years of collaboration with CERN

By: Kim Cloete     20th November 2018 South Africa this week celebrated its ten-year collaboration with CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, best known for major breakthroughs such as the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle in 2012. South Africa’s science community, together with the ambassadors from the French and... 

ACSA, Wits Access Management System challenge winner announced

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th November 2018 Team Authentic8 was on Friday declared the winner of the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and University of the Witwatersrand's (Wits') Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct’s security access management hackathon, also called the Access Management System Challenge. The announcement was... 

ACSA, Wits Access Management System challenge winner announced

MTN, Cell C secure extension on new end-user regulations deadline

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th November 2018 Mobile operators Cell C and MTN South Africa have reached an agreement with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) over the implementation of the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations. The terms of the settlement set a new date of February 28, 2019, for the... 

IoT tools can be used to improve water management

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th November 2018 The Internet of Things (IoT) can help preserve scare resources, as pollution and climate change results in greater pressure on water supply and increasing human population and urbanisation leads to a higher demand, Apex Innovation MD Brynn Williams says. “The consequence [of this trend] is higher... 

Aerospace technology could help uplift Africa in many sectors, Airbus claims

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th November 2018 Giant Europe-based aerospace group Airbus has affirmed that aerospace technologies can play a key role in dealing with many of the socioeconomic challenges confronting Africa. It did so in a report, which it called a White Paper, that was released at the end of last month. at a special event in... 

Industry should use slowdown to train staff

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     16th November 2018 The construction industry should use recessions to train staff to gain a competitive edge when work volumes increase, says cement and concrete technical services provider The Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology senior lecturer John Roxburgh. “It is crucial to have competent people... 

Industry should use  slowdown to train staff
CONCRETE COGNITION Concrete is extensively used in all civil and construction projects and sound concrete technology knowledge is important

Business intelligence tools becoming more collaborative

By: Schalk Burger     16th November 2018 Business intelligence tools are adopting various collaboration features and tools to better match the collaborative aspects of business processes and workflows, says business information software firm AIGS Insights sales and marketing director Gustav Piater. Users need to be able to put their... 

VR reinventing education, training in organisations – BSC

By: Simone Liedtke     14th November 2018 Business Science Corporation (BSC) is reinventing itself as the world moves into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and is focusing on the use of virtual reality (VR) as a cost-effective method of training people. Skills development and the inadequacies of traditional safety training remain... 

MTN shares rise on report that Nigeria could reduce $10.1bn fine

By: Reuters     14th November 2018 Shares in South Africa's MTN Group rose 2.6% on Wednesday on a media report that Nigerian authorities could reduce the $10.1-billion sum they are demanding from the telecoms company in a dispute. The sum covers the return of funds transferred overseas by MTN and a separate $2-billion tax bill. 

Icasa calls for comment for IMT roadmap

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th November 2018 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on Tuesday called for public comment on its draft International Mobile Telephony (IMT) Roadmap. Stakeholders have until January 18 to give their views on the document that seeks to unlock universal availability of broadband... 

MTN aims to offer mobile banking in Nigeria next year

By: Reuters     13th November 2018 MTN Group will apply for a mobile banking licence in Nigeria and plans to launch the service there next year, its CEO said on Tuesday, further embedding the South African telecoms company in its biggest but increasingly problematic market. Nigeria announced last month that it would allow telecom... 

Telkom delivers strong H1, retrenchment, retirement costs cut earnings 

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th November 2018 Voluntary severance package (VSP) and voluntary early retirement package (VERP) costs have dragged down the earnings of JSE-listed Telkom during the first half of the year. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended September 30 declined by 3.3% to 288c apiece owing to a... 

Telkom delivers strong H1, retrenchment, retirement costs cut earnings
Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko and CFO Tsholofelo Molefe discuss the groups financial results for the six months ended September 30. Video and video editing: Darlene Creamer 13.11.2018

Vodacom posts H1 uptick  

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th November 2018 JSE-listed Vodacom on Monday posted growth across the board for the first half of the 2019 financial year, with service revenue up 6.1% to R36.8-billion and group revenue up 5.6% to R44.4-billion. During the six months ended September 30, the group achieved headline earnings a share of 385c, a 6%... 

Mindworx, Rainmaker join forces to accelerate African businesses’ digital transformation

By: Simone Liedtke     12th November 2018 Business services consultancy Mindworx and UK-based digital and business transformation specialist Rainmaker Solutions have joined forces to accelerate the transformation of African businesses for the digital age. The partnership combines global innovation with local expertise and provides... 

Medical sector benefits from Free State additive manufacturing facility

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th November 2018 The only ISO13485-certified medical implants additive manufacturing (AM, also called 3D printing) facility in Africa is the Central University of Technology's (CUT's) Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing, or CRPM for short. (CUT is located in Bloemfontein.) "Naturally, our focus is on... 

Standard Bank launches Internet banking in Chinese

By: Simone Liedtke     9th November 2018 Financial services provider Standard Bank successfully launched its first Chinese Internet banking site in Angola this week. With more than 30 000 active Chinese-owned firms in Africa, Standard Bank believes it can grow Africa-China trade by building and managing an innovative and effective... 

Kubayi-Ngubane focuses on inclusivity, 4IR in discussions on STI White Paper 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th November 2018 The South African National System of Innovation (NSI) is not yet fully inclusive and, since 1996, South Africa’s innovation performance, which is measured in patents and products, has been relatively flat, Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said on Friday.  

Kubayi-Ngubane focuses on inclusivity, 4IR in discussions on STI White Paper
Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane discusses the draft White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation. Video and editing by Nicholas Boyd

Opic, Africell commit $100m to develop Africa’s telecommunications environment 

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th November 2018 US development finance institution Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) and mobile telecommunications operator Africell have signed a financing deal that will see $100-million injected into the development of the telecommunications sector in Africa. The growth capital facility, one of... 

Necsa’s annual report delayed to 2019 owing to auditing complications

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th November 2018 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has confirmed, in a press release, that the completion of its 2017/2018 audit has been delayed. Parliament has granted the corporation an extension until February 15, 2019, to present its 2017/2018 annual report. “I am proud to say that in the... 

Drones revolutionising Gauteng’s management of infrastructure projects

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th November 2018 The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (DID), with the assistance of the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) Centre for Applied Research and Innovation in the Built Environment, is achieving unprecedented monitoring of the infrastructure development and construction projects that it... 

Modernisation presents opportunities in industry

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th November 2018 Despite the challenges experienced in the South African fluid power valve market, international motion and control technologies manufacturer Parker Hannifin believes that there is opportunity for further modernisation and development of fluid power valves. “The local fluid power valve industry... 

Modernisation presents opportunities in industry
GROWTH OPPORTUNITY Parker Hannifin Sales Company South Africa has identified the integration of electronics into its range of hydraulic and pneumatic valve products as a growth opportunity

Improved performance, energy efficiency and fault-finding

By: Schalk Burger     9th November 2018 A new cloud-based analytical building optimisation platform for building management systems analyses building data, and helps property owners and managers to improve building performance, fault finding and corrective action, as well as reduce energy costs, says building technology multinational... 

Efficiency prominence increasing in South African businesses

9th November 2018 Energy solutions company Energy Partners Intelligence has developed a utility management platform that can display an organisation’s energy-related data in real time. The management tool, called GLO, is a Web- and mobile-based utility management software designed for real-time metering and data... 

Cities need to invest up to $5.4tn a year to develop resilient infrastructure

By: Schalk Burger     9th November 2018 All forms of infrastructure are critical for the expected global urban growth, yet cities face a $4.5-trillion- to $5.4-trillion-a-year investment gap to develop resilient infrastructure. Smart cities are a response to infrastructure and funding challenges, says consulting engineering firm WSP... 

Cities need to invest up to $5.4tn a year to develop resilient infrastructure
ALISON GROVES A focus on sustainability will help build cities and spaces for rural communities that are liveable and resilient

Worldwide, 3D printing is now accelerating rapidly

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th November 2018 The global take-off of additive manufacturing (AM, popularly called 3D printing), it is now apparent, took place some six years ago. "2012 was a turning point in AM, globally," consultancy Wohlers Associates president Terry Wohlers tells Engineering News Online. "The technology really gained... 

Nigerian court adjourns case between MTN and attorney general to Dec 3

By: Reuters     8th November 2018 A Lagos judge on Thursday adjourned a hearing in a $2-billion dispute between South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria's attorney general until December 3. MTN faces a $2-billion tax demand from the country's attorney general, a claim which the company has said is without merit. The... 

South Africa's financial stability threatened by MTN's $10bn Nigeria bill – SARB

By: Reuters     8th November 2018 Billions of dollars in fines owed by South African companies MTN and Standard Bank to Nigerian regulators could increase the risk to South Africa's financial system, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said on Wednesday. The Nigerian central bank in August accused telecoms firm MTN and its... 

Dimension Data expands Silicon Cape partnership

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th November 2018 Information and communication technology (ICT) group Dimension Data has expanded its partnership with innovation ecosystem coordinator Silicon Cape after joining as a blue member of the organisation’s Africa-first membership. The Africa-first membership, launched in July, is an evolved model that... 

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