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Technology & Communications News

Newly inaugurated PV microgrid to supply almost 50% of Robben Island’s electricity

By: Mia Breytenbach     3rd November 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid that will supply almost half of the island’s yearly electricity requirement. The Department of Tourism, together with the appointed engineering,... 

Fostering innovation will put South Africa on a higher growth trajectory

By: Schalk Burger     3rd November 2017 “Harnessing the potential of innovation through an improved business climate for startups, skilled immigration, trade facilitation, competition in information and communication technology, as well as easier access to research and development tax incentives would significantly help to create jobs... 

Fostering innovation will put South Africa on a higher growth trajectory

Storage automation in warehousing globally trending

By: Nica Schreuder     3rd November 2017 With the global shift among project managers toward automated storage solutions to rapidly meet customer needs, Germiston-based storage solution and racking manufacturer Acrow says South Africa has been quick on the uptake, with many companies implementing automated mobile racking storage... 

Storage automation in  warehousing globally trending
CUSTOMER INFLUENCE Acrow’s mobile racking storage solution came about as customers required increased automation in their warehousing and storage facilities

Successful debut for new technology solution on bridge project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd November 2017 Marking a strong debut in the country, independent international engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV’s new iReport solution has been successfully used for the Vincent Tshabalala Pedestrian Bridge project in Alexandra, Johannesburg. The iReport is an innovative... 

Successful debut for  new technology solution on bridge project
ROADMAP Royal HaskoningDHV’s new project management solution, the iReport, used interactive data to communicate information to stakeholders for the Vincent Tshabalala Pedestrian Bridge project

Intelligent algorithm company 4Sight lists on AltX

By: Schalk Burger     3rd November 2017 The first pure technology company to list on the JSE’s AltX in 18 years, decision support technology group 4Sight, has artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) and big data technology capabilities, which are reshaping business and individual lives worldwide,... 

Intelligent algorithm company 4Sight lists on AltX
ALTX-LISTING 4Sight directors Antonie Van Rensburg, Gary Lauryssen, Jacques Hattingh and Conal Lewer-Allen at the listing ceremony at the JSE, in Sandton

Solar photovoltaic invention passes two-year milestone

By: Schalk Burger     3rd November 2017 Standalone solar photovoltaic (PV) social enterprise technology SolarTurtle, which provides low-cost energy for remote and unconnected communities, has been profitable and operational for more than two years in various communities, says SolarTurtle inventor, founder and manager James van der... 

Solar photovoltaic invention passes two-year milestone
SOCIAL SOLAR ENTERPRISE The SolarTurtle with its solar panels open

Top South African research bodies join forces on environmental monitoring

By: Keith Campbell     2nd November 2017 Two of the country’s top research institutions, the recently established South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (Sarao) and the South African Environmental Observation Network (Saeon) have signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to execute the Integrated Environmental Management Plan (IEMP) for... 

Top South African research bodies join forces on environmental monitoring
An artist's impression of Phase 1 of the SKA

Vodacom commercially launches narrow-band IoT in Gauteng

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st November 2017 Mobile operator Vodacom has operationalised its first commercially available narrow-band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network in Gauteng. The commercial rollout of NB-IoT is expected to accelerate IoT adoption rates. Vodacom currently averages 55 000 new IoT connections a month. 

Turkcell welcomes litigation progress in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st November 2017 Turkish mobile operator Turkcell has welcomed the progress made in its legal battle with South African mobile operator MTN. MTN this week filed a Statement of Defence plea in the South African High Court over a disputed 2004 telecommunications operating licence bid in Iran. 

MTN files its plea against Turkcell’s Iran litigation drive

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st October 2017 Telecommunications giant MTN this week filed a Statement of Defence plea as its protracted legal battle with Turkish mobile operator Turkcell rages on over a 2004 telecommunications operating licence bid in Iran. The Turkish rival has brought several international and local claims against MTN for... 

US agency Nasa planning to soon build low sonic boom demonstrator aircraft

By: Keith Campbell     30th October 2017 The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) had completed the design of, and hopes to soon build, a technology demonstrator aircraft to establish that it is possible at attenuate sonic booms to such a degree that it will permit overland supersonic commercial flight. Construction... 

US agency Nasa planning to soon build low sonic boom demonstrator aircraft
Photo by Nasa
An artist’s impression of Nasa’s planned low sonic boom technology demonstration aircraft

DTI developing IP policy

By: Anine Kilian     27th October 2017 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is, in partnership with other Ministries that participate in the inter-Ministerial committee on intellectual property (IP), developing an intellectual property (IP) policy aimed at achieving policy coherence in government and at realising South Africa’s... 

DTI developing IP policy

Global aviation industry faces Renaissance, creating openings for South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     27th October 2017 The global aviation industry continues to be a rapidly growing sector, far from reaching maturity. This was stressed at the recent International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) open session at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria by US National Aeronautics and... 

Global aviation industry faces Renaissance, creating openings for South Africa
Photo by Nasa
Nasa Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Dr Jaiwon Shin

Conference aims to strengthen cross-border relations

By: Nadine James     27th October 2017 The prospects for wind power within and beyond the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) will be discussed at this year’s Windaba conference and exhibition, exploring opportunities outside South Africa’s borders, and consider ways of establishing cross-border... 

Conference aims to strengthen cross-border relations
ANSWERS IN THE WIND The Windaba programme has been designed to be relevant regardless of whether the mid-term outlook is good or uncertain

MeerKAT telescope participates in birth of new era of astronomy

By: Keith Campbell     27th October 2017 South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array, although still under construction, has successfully participated in an unprecedented international collaboration that has opened a new era in astronomy. For the first time, a major astronomical event – the collision of two neutron stars – has been... 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and SA industry must adapt

By: Keith Campbell     27th October 2017 The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, is now underway. And there is no way that South African industry can avoid or escape it. Industry 4.0 embraces mobile connectivity, artificial intelligence, “big data”, the Internet of Things (IoT), next-generation robotics, additive... 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and SA industry must adapt

South African aerospace and defence company extends aircraft training with new fighter jets

By: Dylan Slater     27th October 2017 Aerospace and defence company Paramount Group has acquired four dual-seat Mirage F1 fighter aircraft to enhance its existing pilot training capability.  

South African aerospace and defence company extends aircraft training with new fighter jets
MIRAGE F1 Paramount Group bought four Mirage F1 fighter jets from the French Government to assist in pilot training

Monitoring system assists with continuous safety and product quality

By: Simone Liedtke     27th October 2017 Industrial equipment supplier SICK Automation says its LMS511 Pro object detection system assists in decreasing the number of collisions and injuries for the chemicals, petrochemicals and automated bulk handling industries, where continuous process and proximity monitoring plays a critical role... 

Monitoring system assists with continuous safety  and product quality
OBJECT DETECTION The LMS511 Pro object detection system will detect any objects or humans in the reclaimer path

Competition proves long term value of stainless steel

By: Robyn Wilkinson     27th October 2017 The winner of the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association’s (Sassda’s) Eiffel Tower life-cycle costing competition was announced earlier this month, having proven the success of the association’s new cellphone application (app) and the long-term value of stainless steel as a... 

Competition proves long term value of stainless steel
A WINNING FORMULA Sassda Western Cape manager Michel Bassson hands Amrish Punwasi his prize for having proven the success of Sassda’s new app

New border agency should have own budget – Defence Minister

By: Keith Campbell     27th October 2017 South Africa's soon-to-be-created Border Management Authority (BMA) will "hopefully" be funded by a new budget line, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told "Engineering News" on the fringes of the recent Homeland Security Conference 2017, in Pretoria. "It shouldn't... 

Family-owned businesses outperform peers, report shows

By: Mia Breytenbach     27th October 2017 Family-owned companies have outperformed broader equity markets in every region and sector, according to the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s (CSRI’s) ‘The CS Family 1000’ report, which reviews the investment case for family-owned companies. The financial performance of family-owned companies... 

Manufacturing sector bore brunt of industrial cyberattacks in first half of 2017

By: Schalk Burger     27th October 2017 The manufacturing sector emerged as the hardest hit by cyberattacks during the first half of 2017, with one in every three industrial cyberattacks carried out against industrial control system (ICS) computers, says global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab critical infrastructure defence head... 

Altron’s continuing operations maintain performance despite ‘tough’ H1

By: Anine Kilian     26th October 2017 JSE-listed Allied Electronics’ continuing operations delivered results in line with expectations in the six months ended August 31, despite difficult local economic conditions, a strengthening currency and one-off costs associated with the group’s restructuring processes. Speaking at a... 

Spectrum crunch not sustainable as disappointment sets in over lack of auction

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th October 2017 Telecommunications giant MTN South Africa on Thursday expressed its disappointment that the spectrum impasse has not yet been resolved, reiterating that data costs will not decline until the high-demand spectrum, at the very minimum in the 2 600 MHz band, is released. Speaking at the yearly... 

Vumatel seeks to drive down fibre costs to provide access to more people

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th October 2017 Neighbourhood fibre provider Vumatel is moving to offset its role in widening South Africa’s digital divide by seeking out and piloting a new viable model to drive down the cost of high-speed unlimited fibre access for those least able to afford it. Vumatel emerged as a formidable fibre player in... 

High Court orders Telkom to stop disconnecting services to eNatis

By: African News Agency      26th October 2017 The Gauteng North High Court has ordered Telkom to restore telephone services to eNatis following an urgent application by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC). In a statement late on Wednesday, Spokesperson Simon Zwane said: “The RTMC brought an application before the court today after... 

UCT-led team makes new dinosaur discovery

By: News24Wire      26th October 2017 A team of scientists from universities in SA, the UK and Brazil have discovered the first evidence of a large carnivorous dinosaur roaming Southern Africa 200-million years ago, according to a statement from the University of Cape Town (UCT). The UCT-led team comprised of scientists from the... 

Government moves to reprioritise NDP-aligned initiatives, infrastructure spend estimate at R948m

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th October 2017 With increasing indications that South Africa, on its current path, will not achieve its National Development Plan (NDP) ambitions, government is redirecting efforts to prioritise programmes that strengthen the alignment of the national budget, the medium-term strategic framework and the NDP.... 

Government moves to reprioritise NDP-aligned initiatives, infrastructure spend estimate at R948m

MTN impacted by exchange rates in Q3

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th October 2017 Mobile operator MTN’s financial performance in the quarter ended September 30 ,has been negatively impacted on by exchange rate movements. The JSE-listed firm on Tuesday posted a 13.4% decline in total revenue and 14% decrease in group service revenue for the three months. 

Cell C not headed for all-out capex war – Levy

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th October 2017 JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms has no immediate plans to make mobile operator Cell C a top contender in an all-out capital expenditure (capex) war with top mobile operators MTN and Vodacom, but will rather narrow the focus of its latest acquisition to the strategic deployment of the “best” urban... 

Cell C not headed for all-out capex war – Levy
Photo by Duane Daws
Blue Label joint CEO Brett Levy

MEA manufacturing sector second-most vulnerable to cyberattacks

By: Schalk Burger     20th October 2017 The manufacturing sector was second only to the finance industry in terms of the most cyberattacks recorded in any sector in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region in 2016, information technology (IT) services multinational Dimension Data’s ‘Global Threat Intelligence Report for 2017’ reveals.... 

MEA manufacturing sector second-most vulnerable to cyberattacks
Dimension Data Security Solutions MEA executive Sean Duffy

Latest Airbus airliner type makes first flight

By: Keith Campbell     20th October 2017 The first development aircraft in Europe-based major aerospace group Airbus’ new A330neo (new engine option) family made its maiden flight on Thursday, from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France. The aircraft took off at 09:57 local time and landed at 14:10, having flown for four hours and 13... 

Latest Airbus airliner type makes first flight
Photo by Airbus
The first A330neo, an A330-900, takes off for the first time

CSIR is looking to transform how infrastructure is built in South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     20th October 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) continues to research innovations and initiatives to transform the local construction industry. This was reported by CSIR Principal Researcher Llewellyn van Wyk at the recent 6th CSIR Conference in Pretoria.  

Property developer launches SA’s first dual-certified property portfolio

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 Real estate investment trust (Reit) Growthpoint Properties has launched the first and only property portfolio in South Africa to be highly rated by the South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) and the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). The Thrive Portfolio combines quality and... 

Property developer launches SA’s first dual-certified property portfolio
WRAPPING UP Growthpoint Properties is nearing completion on the 112 000 m2 office development for Discovery, in Sandton

Local gas company trials diesel dual-fuel kits on long-haul trucks

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 As fleet operators increasingly aim to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce costs, natural gas company Tetra4, a subsidiary of JSE-listed energy company Renergen, has started trialling diesel dual-fuel (DDF) kits on two European brands of trucks to establish the advantages of natural gas as a fuel... 

Local gas company trials diesel dual-fuel kits on long-haul trucks
SAVINGS PURSUIT Indicative results can play a role in the development of an alternative cost-saving methodology for fleet owners and in pursuing and encouraging fleet optimisation

Digital disruption to drive financial inclusion in Africa

     20th October 2017 Digital disruption in the financial services sector is likely to gain further momentum and lead to exciting new business models that will facilitate financial inclusion in Africa, says advisory services provider Deloitte Africa financial services industry leader Roger Verster. 

Digital disruption  to drive financial  inclusion in Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
DIGITAL DISRUPTION Mobile wallet solution m-Pesa is now available in ten countries and has a customer base of about 30-million active users

New security solution effective for African banks

By: Robyn Wilkinson     20th October 2017 Technology solutions providers Mint Management Technologies and Microsoft are finalising the first version of an anti-money-laundering (AML) solution to help protect African financial institutions from illegal activities without enforcing cumbersome administration processes on clients. 

New security solution  effective for African banks
PRIORITISING PROTECTION Countries are finding it increasingly difficult to participate in the global economy if they are not engaged in some form of anti-money laundering programme

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