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Technology & Communications News

Smart-card factory

By: System Author     21st May 1999 HERIOTDALE, in Johannesburg, will be South Africa’s ‘smart centre’, following a R50-million investment from a UK group to its South African subsidiary, Applied Card Technologies (ACT). The investment is for a smart-card factory which will produce ‘intelligent’ cards,... 

South African students compete globally

By: System Author     14th May 1999 South African students are participating in international science and technology fairs in Europe, the US, and South America through the local Expo for Young Scientists Programme. Winning students of different categories in the expo are selected to represent South Africa in different science fairs... 

Genetic modification may hold the key to Africa’s food-production dilemma

By: System Author     14th May 1999 Within the next five to ten years, 95% of South Africa’s processed foods will be derived from genetically-modified sources. Far from rejecting this trend, however, South Africans should embrace the idea of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), if only for the simple reason of all the good... 

R15m Durban trade centre completed

By: System Author     14th May 1999 INDUSTRIAL and buil-ding developer Clearspan has completed the construction of a R15-million Trade Centre for Metcash at Mt Edgecombe in Durban. The 13 000 m2 centre was completed in a fastrack period of only four-and-a-half months to allow the centre to meet its critical opening dates.... 

R1,8-bn project is ahead

By: System Author     14th May 1999 The R1,8-billion development of the Marconi Beam site in the Western Cape is two years ahead of schedule, with R1-billion having been spent on the project in just more than three years. The project is well past the halfway mark, with 40% of the total residential land and 60% of the industrial... 

Foundation for new development agency

By: System Author     14th May 1999 Why was the TNDT established? Prior to the 1994 elections, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs) played a significant role in South Africa’s transition process by providing the necessary upliftment services the State could not provide. However, after... 

R180-million allocated for research

By: System Author     14th May 1999 Researchers at universities, technikons and science councils will benefit from funding to the tune of more than R180-million during 1999 through the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (Thrip). “Thrip has had great success in boosting industry-related research due to the... 

African radiation protection centre set up

By: System Author     14th May 1999 South Africa is set to strengthen its position at the forefront of global radiation protection following a decision by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the Council for Nuclear Safety (CNS), with strong support from parastatal power... 

SA niche in emerging Euro missile giant?

By: System Author     14th May 1999 The latest development in the continuing large-scale consolidation of the European aerospace and defence industries – the start of talks to merge major European guided-weapons companies – could very well draw in South Africa, Engineering News can today report. British Aerospace (BAe),... 

Learner-aids fast-track skills push

By: System Author     14th May 1999 A way to speed up the learner competency process as outlined by the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) has been developed by the National Productivity Institute (NPI). NPI senior productivity adviser George Chamberlain explains to Engineering News that, although the NQF, through its unit... 

Local assembly on the cards for PC distributors

By: System Author     14th May 1999 IN a move that is said to be a first for a large branded personal computer (PC) vendor, Hewlett-Packard South Africa has granted its primary distributors the right to assemble a range of PCs locally. Siltek Distribution Dynamics (SDD) and Tarsus Technologies are to start immediate local assembly... 

Simple solution to millennium bug

By: System Author     14th May 1999 Small, medium and micro enterprises that cannot afford to invest millions of rands in high-tech software solutions to the millennium problem will be pleased to know that the answer could be a simple plug-in-clock. The Millennium TimePeace, developed by Trafford, of the UK, is a small retrofit... 

Fine-tuning the logic behind pressure control

By: System Author     14th May 1999 The proportional integral derivative (PID) controller is used in many industries to control variables like temperature, flow, level and pressure. Even where multivariable control and optimisation are used, the base layer still depends on the PID controller. Johannesburg-based engineering company,... 

IT strategy endorsed

By: System Author     14th May 1999 The Electronics Industries Federation of South Africa’s (EIF) executive council has added its endorsement to the South African information technology (IT) industry strategy (Saitis) project being co-funded by the governments of South Africa and Canada. Saitis aims to develop a viable... 

Digital villages to empower communities

By: System Author     14th May 1999 The hi-tech world of information technology (IT) is opening up for South Africa’s historically-disadvantaged communities through the establishment of ‘digital villages’ by Gauteng IT leader Microsoft SA. The company’s community investment programme aims to bring the... 

Towards a third generation of cellphones

By: System Author     14th May 1999 THE GSM Association has predicted that cellular data transmission will grow at a rate of 40 % to 50 % this year. The announcement follows a prediction by the association that a billion GSM text mesages would be sent in April alone. Vodacom group executive Joan Joffe believes that the increasing... 

Brave new world of process intelligence

By: System Author     14th May 1999 In keeping with the company’s goal of being a world leader in technology, Yokogawa’s local branch in Southdale, Gauteng, has introduced the new YTA. This combines the digital accuracy of the DPharp pressure transmitters with the reliability of the YT series, resulting in a temperature... 

Modified-bitumen contracts in the pipeline

By: System Author     7th May 1999 Despite severely-depressed market conditions, modified bitumen manufactured at Bituguard South Africa’s newly-completed production facility near Bethlehem in the Free State is being used on a number of contracts. Most notable of these are for the coating of 25 km of pipeline – 5 km... 

Piping in changes to the market

By: Roelf Diedericks     7th May 1999 After a major product development over the last two years, pipe galvaniser RIH Tube, of Elandsfontein, Gauteng, can now offer a comprehensive customer-control programme to complement and support the changes. “We have been largely responsible for pioneering the product changes that we... 

High-temp polymer for corrosion protection

By: System Author     7th May 1999 Research and development chemists have introduced a new, high-temperature polymer coating that provides protection against erosion-corrosion under conditions of full immersion at temperatures of up to 185?C. The new coating is expected to open the door to markets which, until now, have not been... 

Specialist construction coating

By: System Author     7th May 1999 ASouth African ma- nufacturer of spe- cialist coatings for the construction industry, Marmoran, is launching a new product throughout the country. Alltek is a 2 mm to 3 mm thick spray-applied plaster that adheres to walls with great strength. It is normally applied by a team of three, one of whom... 

One of world’s longest conveyors is coated

By: System Author     7th May 1999 Corrosion-resistant coatings for one of the world’s longest mine conveyor systems, provided by South African conveyor fabricator, Lorbrand, have been sandblasted and painted by Robo Blasting, of Germiston, Gauteng. Coatings for the 24 km conveyor, which runs through the Rockies in Colorado... 

Regional power trade nets R150m for SA

By: System Author     7th May 1999 In an extremely difficult economic climate Eskom’s traders last year managed to make a gross profit of more than R150-million, simply by buying and selling electricity in Africa. The power utility reports that South Africa is the largest producer and consumer of electricity in the... 

Earthmover launches training programme

By: System Author     7th May 1999 The local distributor of Caterpillar earthmoving machinery, Barlows Equipment, is implementing a training programme that brings South Africa’s national qualifications framework (NQF) structure to life. Barlows human resources development (HRD) service manager Tienie Viljoen explains to... 

R1,2-billion ‘Disney World’ for Centurion

By: System Author     7th May 1999 Plans are on the map to develop a R1,2-billion theme park in Centurion, Gauteng, which, if implemented, would cap Disney World, Orlando, in the US in size. The first of four phases in the development, called Centurion Wonder World, is a proposed R300-million undertaking which would comprise a... 

New airport project cleared for take-off

By: System Author     7th May 1999 The project to construct a R250-million international airport for the lowveld at Primkop, near Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, has received approval from all relevant provincial and national government departments and agencies and now is awaiting only the closure of the necessary financial package,... 

R22m loan for Knysna projects

By: System Author     7th May 1999 Socioeconomic development in the greater Knysna area was boosted at the end of last month when the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Knysna transitional local council (KTLC) signed a R22,7-million loan agreement. The loan is for the financing of the Knysna infrastructure... 

Emerging enterprises boosted

By: System Author     7th May 1999 The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), with The Internet Solution (IS) as strategic partner, is launching an initiative to bring together providers of venture capital with promising emerging companies requiring a cash injection. The JSE’s emerging enterprise zone (EEZ) went live last month,... 

Train communication system is on track

By: System Author     7th May 1999 A reportedly unique South African developed train communication system worth more than R10-million to support CoalLink in coal transport – with the ultimate goal of moving more than 70-million tons of coal a year to Richards Bay Coal Terminal – is in the process of being rolled out by... 

Govt to study regional satellite

By: System Author     7th May 1999 Government is about to conduct a nine-month study into the feasibility of a domestic regional satellite dedicated to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), communications director-general Andile Ngcaba reports. Based on the present economic outlook, industry experts believe such a... 

New companies can now hit the ground running

By: System Author     7th May 1999 Leading competitors in the information technology (IT) industry SAP, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard (HP) have formed a tripartite alliance to offer affordable enterprise resource planning solutions to the previously neglected small and medium-sized business spectrum. At about R3-million for 200... 

Turnkey hydraulic package offered in SA

By: Deborah Spicer     7th May 1999 The range of hydraulic equipment manufactured by Denison, and imported from the US and Europe to South Africa through the Denquip group, has a stronger-than-ever presence in the country. “With some changes taking place in the group itself, as well as a change of agency in South Africa, some... 

Tanzania sweetens telecom privatisation

By: Roelf Diedericks     7th May 1999 Tanzania’s government intends to sweeten the privatisation process of the State-owned Tanzania Telecommunications Company (TTCL) by granting it a cellular licence before any other company in the country, Engineering News can today report. Information obtained from the Tanzania High... 

Pneumatic system for trenchless piping

By: System Author     7th May 1999 A range of pneumat- ic equipment used to install underground pipes and cables without digging trenches is available from Reef Trenchless Technology SA (RTT), a wholly-owned company of Reef Pneumatics and Industrial Supplies. “The conventional method of digging trenches when one needs to... 

Sector galvanised by R1,4bn mast project

By: System Author     7th May 1999 The local corrosion-control industry has received a significant boost by the announcement that Telkom is to go ahead with its plan to erect 4 500 radio masts each year over the next three years. One of Telkom’s main aims is to ensure that the lifecycle cost of creating the radio-based... 

Launch of innovative product

By: System Author     30th April 1999 One of the largest local integration houses, IST Industrial, of Pretoria, is set to launch an innovative product which will have an impact on the majority of industrial and mining sectors, reports marketing manager Jacques Joubert. Details regarding this product seem to be a tightly guarded... 

SA lagging behind world in telecom pricing

By: System Author     30th April 1999 South Africa does not compare well with telecommunication price standards in other countries, where costs are falling dramatically, according to the latest yearly worldwide survey of telephone charges by National Utility Services (NUS) of South Africa. NUS provides a telecommunications, energy... 

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