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Technology & Communications News

150 000 telephone lines planned for townships

By: System Author     23rd July 1999 SOUTH Africa’s largest geographic information system (GIS) solutions provider is providing GIS project management and software development services for what is believed to be the largest tender ever awarded by Telkom. The project involves the creation of a GIS database for one of the main... 

Improving business confidence

By: System Author     23rd July 1999 During its monthly business confidence index (BCI) discussion in July to review June economic indicators, the South African Chamber of Business (Sacob) said that the reduction of interest rates alone would not put the local economy back on track, but that there were a number of structural... 

Sabres are out to reduce software piracy

By: System Author     23rd July 1999 In an effort to minimise the almost R1-billion computer software piracy industry in South Africa, government and Business Software Alliance (BSA) are working together in legalising all software used in various government departments. “For every legal software package sold an illegal one... 

Technikon project speeds up innovation

By: System Author     16th July 1999 Significant strides are being made in a project to enhance the rapid prototyping process at the Free State Technikon to make it easier and faster for innovators and designers to pilot new designs. The problem is that to materialise a concept in terms of producing a mock-up, prototype and; mould,... 

National packaging-industry awards

By: System Author     16th July 1999 Over the past 20 years, the Gold Pack Awards have developed a credible relationship with the South African packaging industry through recognising good design and innovation in those companies and individuals unwilling to accept the ordinary. Early in the history of the Institute of Packaging of... 

New aseptic packaging products launched

By: System Author     16th July 1999 Voted the most significant food-science innovation in the last 50 years by the Institute for Food Technology in the US, aseptic packaging technology is pioneered in South Africa by Tetra Pak, of Pinetown, Kwazulu-Natal, reportedly a world leader in the development and marketing of such systems... 

Mission-simulator venture

By: System Author     16th July 1999 An agreement to co-operate on the development of a mission simulator for the future light utility helicopter (LUH) of the South African Air Force (SAAF) has been signed between Midrand defence company African Defence Systems (ADS) and CAE Electronics, of Canada. Selected by Agusta, the Italian... 

La Mercy project still awaits clearance

By: System Author     16th July 1999 THE controversial relocation of Durban International Airport (DIA) to a proposed new site at La Mercy has reached an impasse due to financial difficulties. In an exclusive interview with Engineering News Acsa MD Dirk Ackerman stated quite frankly that “nothing has changed; we have finished... 

African telecom centres of excellence plan

By: System Author     16th July 1999 THE challenge of providing universal access and rural connectivity in Africa is to be tackled with the creation of two African centres of excellence. An announcement last month by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Nortel Networks and the Acacia Initiative of the International... 

SA plants export potential set to flourish

By: System Author     16th July 1999 Long ripe for the picking, South Africa’s rich indigenous plant resource now seems set to become a generator of funds for a country which desperately needs it. In the first deal of its kind worldwide, the National Botanical Institute (NBI) of South Africa is in the process of finalising an... 

Regulations hamper satellite service

By: System Author     16th July 1999 POTENTIAL satellite users in South Africa cannot take advantage of a specially-reduced phone service from Iridium because the company’s local partner, Iridium Africa, has yet to be granted a licence by the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Satra). The international... 

New turnkey lubrication service

By: System Author     16th July 1999 A revolutionary integrated business solution for South African industry is being provided by lubricant and fuel company Mobil SA, of Sandton, Gauteng. Although the phrase ‘business solution’, has traditionally been reserved for the information technology sector, Mobil development... 

Hard-goods packing plant commissioned

By: System Author     16th July 1999 In line with the Pac-Creative group’s aim of providing creative outsourcing solutions in the manufacturing field, it has commissioned a new hard-goods packing plant at its Industria, Gauteng, site trading under the name Serv-Quest. The plant’s establishment was driven by the need of a... 

Year 2000 upgrade is finally in the can

By: System Author     16th July 1999 One of the largest manufacturers of tin-plate cans for the South African food-canning industry, Foodcan, of Bryanston, Gauteng, a subsidiary of the Nampak group, has taken steps to streamline and upgrade its production facilities nationwide as part of a multimillion-rand Year 2000 initiative. As... 

R250m fund to take inventions to markets

By: System Author     16th July 1999 A R250-million pri- vate equity fund has been launched to narrow the gap between invention and commercialisation. Independent banking group Brait, of Johannesburg, launched the Braitec fund late last month and has already invested a total of R35-million in two firms embracing technological and... 

Optical fibre technology focus on Africa

By: System Author     16th July 1999 The transfer of leading-edge optical fibre technology, products and services will be made available to private and public network operators throughout Southern Africa following the signing of a strategic alliance between South African cable manufacturer Aberdare Cables and US-based company... 

R2bn telecom contract

By: System Author     16th July 1999 TELECOM group Alcatel has been awarded a R2-billion contract from French telecom operator Cegetel for the extension and reinforcement of the performances of its global systems mobile (GSM) network. According to this contract, Alcatel will supply the Evolium radiosolutions (GSM base stations) and... 

New global systems mobile network

By: System Author     16th July 1999 TELECOM solutions provider Ericsson has reached an agreement with mobile operator MTN to supply the world’s first global systems mobile (GSM) Pro network in South Africa. This will make MTN the first mobile operator in the world to add dispatch and group communication capabilities to its... 

R180m communications contract

By: System Author     16th July 1999 A R180-million contract to install and maintain a national communications infrastructure for Circle Information Technologies (CIT) over the next five years has been secured by Reunert electronics company Reunert Communication Systems (RCS). The order value for the first year is R23-million and... 

Lessons for economic policy from GDP revision

By: System Author     9th July 1999 It is not often that the subjective character of the ‘dismal science’ of economics is so obviously exposed. Usually it is carefully dissembled in the kind of scientific and objective language which dazzles everyone into admiring the Economics Emperor and ‘his beautiful... 

Centre of excellence launched in Gauteng

By: System Author     9th July 1999 RESEARCH and development in telecom has been boosted by the launch of a Telkom and Siemens-funded centre of excellence (CoE) at Technikon South Africa. The launch marks the extension of the already-existing University of the Witwatersrand CoE to Technikon South Africa, which will enable... 

R4,5-million internet capacity contract

By: System Author     9th July 1999 LOCAL Internet service provider (ISP) Satellite Data Networks (SDN) has signed a R4,5-million deal to supply information technology services consortium Uninet with international Internet capacity. The agreement will enable the consortium to provide a cost-effective connectivity solution to its... 

New broadcasting services for Africa

By: System Author     9th July 1999 COMMUNICATIONS company Intelsat has announced that it has signed an agreement with Portuguse TV company Radiotelevisao Porguesa (RTP) to distribute programming throughout Africa on the Intelsat 605 satellite at 332,5 

R500m national motor workshop chain

By: System Author     9th July 1999 Petrochemical company Shell South Africa has announced a five-year plan to develop a national chain of 180 motor workshops which will help to stimulate the motor industry and create over 2 000 jobs The project will see an injection of R500-million into the industry. Earlier this year, the company... 

R106m condensate-

By: System Author     9th July 1999 State-owned synthetic fuels producer Mossgas is to embark upon a R106-million project that will see its product output increase by up to 24% through the importation of oil condensate for refining at its plant near Mossel Bay in the Western Cape. This project will add nearly R40-million to the... 

State set to commercialise coal-conversion technologies

By: System Author     9th July 1999 The State-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF) will shortly be appointing consultants to advise it on how best to commercialise proprietary technology which is able to convert coal into value-added products. CEF’s Dr Howard Roberts tells Engineering News the technology is currently housed in... 

Ringing in the changes of Y2k compliance

By: System Author     9th July 1999 Acontract worth sev- eral million rands to ensure Year 2000 compliance for telecommunications provider Telkom is progressing well. The contract, subcontracted by Siemens to engineering software developer TLC Software, of Johannesburg, involves an engineering management system, client server... 

SA companies fail to compute A&C benefits

By: System Author     9th July 1999 Can you provide us with a succinct definition of A&C? Automation is an enabling technology. Computerisation refers to the computer hardware and software infrastructure required to automate a process or manufacturing operation. Control of the manufacture of a product through its successive stages... 

Latest advances in automation and drives

By: System Author     9th July 1999 At the Hanover Fair this year Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D) group president Dr Klaus Wucherer delivered an excellent overview of the latest achievements in the field of automation and drives. He started with a brief look at the A&D group. The last financial year was the first in which the... 

Is there an engineer available in the house?

By: System Author     9th July 1999 Martin Gottlieb is an engineer. He is also president of the American Institute of Engineers, and he currently has a mission. He is looking for a new name for ‘engineer’. Actually he is looking for a synonym. Gottlieb says doctors can be called physicians, lawyers can be called... 

R135m internet boost

By: System Author     9th July 1999 SOFTWARE company Internet Solution (IS) is establishing South Africa’s premier e-commerce network. IS Infrastructure has secured the first full 45 Mb/s international Internet circuit in the country for delivery this month. According to Dimension Data executive director Alon Apteker the move... 

Mobile phone network No 2 for Malawi

By: System Author     9th July 1999 THE contract to supply the equipment for the first-phase development of the second global systems mobile (GSM) network to be established in Malawi has been awarded to Siemens Carrier Solutions, a division of Siemens Information and Communication Networks (ICN). The contract for this initial phase... 

R3,5m Swazi telecom contract

By: System Author     9th July 1999 An order exceeding R3,5-million from the Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) for the delivery and installation of an interactive voice responder platform system has been awarded to Alcatel Altech Telecoms. The system, to be installed in Mbabane, will initially provide a voice... 

Undersea cable to link the world

By: System Author     9th July 1999 TELECOM utility Telkom has formalised its partnership with 40 nations in an undersea cable project aimed at linking Africa to Europe and Asia through telecoms. In a statement, Telkom said that this partnership will provide a telecom channel catering for Africa’s international connectivity... 

New products unveiled

By: System Author     9th July 1999 A new range of products has been launched by GE Fanuc Automation, of Isando, Gauteng, at an exhibition in Paris. “The technology involved is extremely advanced and of the highest standard,” GE Fanuc computer numeric control (CNC) sales and application engineer Norbert Barnard tells... 

The day when braaivleis will be banned . . .

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 When I was finishing a doctorate, the tea-room of the university had a collection of bound issues of an early English scientific journal called The Analyst. It recorded, in awful detail, the struggles of some dedicated Victorian chemists. In those days food wasn’t food unless it contained a... 

Importance of social investment acknowledged

By: System Author     2nd July 1999 The importance of social investment, particularly in its home town of Mossel Bay, is acknowledged by Mossgas. The main focus in this regard is on primary and secondary school education, adult education and economic empowerment of the previously-disadvantaged communities. Each of the more than 30... 

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