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Technology & Communications News

Machine learning, knowledge management tools changing legal industry

By: Schalk Burger     14th September 2018 The legal profession, as with most other knowledge professions, is changing through the use of machine learning tools applied to ensure that legal information is leveraged and disseminated efficiently to lawyers to fulfil their tasks more quickly and more accurately, law firm Cliffe Dekker... 

New tech will change nature of work, but could also create jobs

By: Schalk Burger     14th September 2018 New technologies, including advanced computing systems and the automation of various job activities, will change about 30% of activities in about 60% of occupations, and will require new skills across most industries, management consulting multinational McKinsey Global Institute global economic... 

Moves under way to lift SA film industry out of the doldrums

By: Kim Cloete     14th September 2018 The South African film industry has been going through some troubled times, as local films battle to draw audiences and provinces fail to attract as many foreign film and commercial shoots as in previous years.   The hardships have propelled various partners in the film industry to work together... 

Moves under way to lift SA film industry out of the doldrums

Many parts of the world not ready for super fast 5G network – MTN's CEO 

By: Reuters     12th September 2018 Many parts of the world are not ready for next-generation 5G network but would likely be ready to embrace the super-fast technology in the next few years from now, MTN's chief executive of said on Tuesday. 5G networks, now in the final testing stage, will rely on denser arrays of small antennas... 

DST draft White Paper changes science, technology and innovation focus

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th September 2018 The Department of Science and Technology’s (DST’s) recently released draft White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) contained a number of policy shifts in comparison with its predecessor, the 1996 White Paper on Science and Technology. These are intended to allow STI to fulfil its... 

MTN says Nigeria's attorney general exceeded powers in $2bn tax bill

By: Reuters     11th September 2018 Nigeria's attorney general exceeded his powers in demanding $2-billion in taxes and charges from MTN Group, the telecoms firm said in papers filed with Nigeria's High Court and reviewed by Reuters. The papers, filed on Monday in a move by the Nigerian arm of the South African firm aimed at... 

IBM SA, Tshimologong Precinct launch acceleration bootcamp

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th September 2018 IBM South Africa, through its Equity Equivalence Investment Programme (EEIP), together with with the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, has launched a Startup Accelerator, which will run from October 8 to November 16.  The Startup Accelerator is designed to enable the development of... 

Cape vulture provides inspiration for homegrown vertical-axis wind turbine  

By: Terence Creamer     11th September 2018 A South African start-up has developed a vertical-axis wind-turbine that employs a groundbreaking morphing wing design, which seeks to mimic the movements of the Cape vulture. A prototype of the turbine, developed by Brayfoil Technologies in collaboration with WorleyParsons, is currently being... 

Cape vulture provides inspiration for homegrown vertical-axis wind turbine
Brayfoil Technologies founder Robert Bray on how he drew inspiration from the Cape Vulture for his innovative flexible wing invention, which he says could have application in wind turbines, hydro turbines, sail yachts, aeroplanes and automobiles. Video and video editing: Darlene Creamer

South Africa to set up a 'sovereign innovation fund'

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th September 2018 The Department of Science and Technology (DST), in its recently released draft White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), stated that a “sovereign innovation fund” is to be created. “There is a need for increased commercialisation funding,” said section 6.2 of the draft White Paper.... 

Ramaphosa wants smart, connected cities, says sci-tech minister

By: African News Agency      11th September 2018 Cities that are digitally connected and ready to benefit from and contribute to the Internet of Things (IoT) are a priority for President Cyril Ramaphosa and the South African government. This is according to Minister of Science and Technology Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, who made the remarks on... 

Ramaphosa wants smart, connected cities, says sci-tech minister
Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

Alaris aiming to grow global footprint with solid FY18 results

By: Simone Liedtke     11th September 2018 AltX-listed Alaris Holdings on Tuesday said its continuing operations performed well during the financial year ended June 30, with a number of large orders received from Europe and the Middle East. During the period, the technology holding company managed to grow revenue by 17% from... 

Govt to accelerate licensing of new radio spectrum – Ramaphosa

By: Reuters     10th September 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday that the government will accelerate the long-delayed licensing of radio frequency spectrum to mobile operators. Allocation of spectrum is seen as key to expanding broadband services in Africa's most industrialized economy, where the high cost of... 

MTN CEO confident about Nigeria dispute as firm applies for injunction

By: Reuters     10th September 2018 Telecoms firm MTN Group said on Monday it was confident a multi-billion dollar dispute with the Nigerian government would be resolved even as it applied for a court injunction to protect its Nigerian assets. Nigeria's central bank last month ordered MTN's Lagos-based unit to hand over... 

High-level meeting planned to set innovation agenda as new draft White Paper launched

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th September 2018 The Presidency is to lead a Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) “Plenary meeting” involving major sectors of South African government and society, Science and Technology Minister (Ms) MT Kubayi-Ngubane told the media on Monday. No date for the meeting was given. “South Africa needs to set... 

High-level meeting planned to set innovation agenda as new draft White Paper launched
Photo by Dylan Slater
Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

Youth, women, SMMEs at centre of Fourth Industrial Revolution – Ramaphosa

By: African News Agency      10th September 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that unless women, the youth and small businesses were intrinsically involved in technological advancement, the Fourth Industrial Revolution would fail. Ramaphosa made the remarks on Monday during his opening address at the International Telecoms Union (ITU)... 

Youth, women, SMMEs at centre of Fourth Industrial Revolution – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

New mobile science, maths, tech laboratory using robotics to inspire children 

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2018 The latest mobile laboratory of the Department of Science and Technology, launched on Friday, has robotics kits that children use to build and program robots, thereby inspiring them to pursue careers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The inspire science, engineering and... 

New mobile science, maths, tech laboratory using robotics to inspire children
i-Set project leader & Unisa lecturer Patricia Gouws discusses the i-Set Programme. (Camera & editing: Nicholas Boyd)

SAIW receives robot welding system for training  

By: Donald Makhafola     7th September 2018 South Africa-based Japanese automation and robotic company Yaskawa Southern Africa is handing over a complete robot welding system to the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) for its new robot-welding training programme. The programme comprises the training of robotic-welding operators,... 

SAIW receives robot welding system for training
Yaskawa Southern Africa chairperson and key account manager Terry Rosenberg provides his perspective on robotic welding in South Africa, and Yaskawa’s relationship with the Southern African Institute of Welding. Camerawork & Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Philip Lloyd – a passionate educator and energy thought leader 

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2018 Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Energy Institute researcher, South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) Fellow, energy expert and passionate educator professor Philip Lloyd passed away last month. He championed the role of science and how one needs to learn the language of... 

Philip Lloyd – a passionate educator and energy thought leader
PHILIP LLOYD Philip Lloyd contributed to the nation as an eminent engineer, as well as through mathematics and science education programmes for underprivileged children

5G on its way, but roll-out to be pursued on a case-by-case basis

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th September 2018 The rush to test and implement fifth-generation (5G) services has already started, however, this time around, the latest technological advancement will not be built up or deployed in the same manner as preceding technologies, but rather be implemented on a use case basis. Despite the fact that... 

5G on its way, but roll-out to be pursued on a case-by-case basis

Blockchain for enterprise cloud platform to raise transaction trust

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2018 Cloud technology multinational Oracle’s Blockchain Cloud Service provides a development platform for enterprises and State organisations to build their own scalable and low-cost blockchain networks, says Oracle cloud platform business development director and Europe, Middle East and Africa... 

Blockchain for enterprise cloud platform to raise transaction trust
JOOST VOLKER Global shipping companies, multinational manufacturers, food producers and energy marketplaces are using Oracle’s Blockchain Cloud Service

Blueprint needed for integration of smart solutions with new and old infrastructure

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2018 The implementation of sensor networks and smart infrastructure systems can be done as part of maintenance efforts and for greenfield developments, which will help to improve infrastructure resilience and service delivery, says networking multinational Ruckus Networks sub-Saharan Africa sales... 

Blueprint needed for integration of smart solutions with new and old infrastructure
RIAAN GRAHAM The deployment of smart systems can be enabled by introducing a core design principle established by provincial and/or national government

Moody's places MTN on review for downgrade

By: Reuters     6th September 2018 MTN Group has been put on review by Moody's for downgrade after the South African mobile phone operator said it was on the hook for a total of $10.1-billion from its biggest market Nigeria, the ratings agency said on Thursday. "MTN's ratings have been placed on review for downgrade to reflect... 

Telkom, universities partner to develop national Fourth Industrial Revolution agenda

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th September 2018 Telecommunications giant Telkom and the universities of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg (UJ) and Fort Hare on Wednesday launched SA4IR, which is a national response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The partnership between the company and the universities seeks to build an inclusive... 

Research glider programme reaches unprecedented altitudes

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th September 2018 In just eight days during late August and early September, Airbus’ Perlan 2 glider set three new world altitude records for a glider. Moreover, during the third of these flights, it reached an altitude that has been exceeded in level flight by only two other types of aircraft. These flights... 

Research glider programme reaches unprecedented altitudes
Photo by Airbus
The Perlan 2 glider, at a lower altitude over the Andes

African rail industry urged to adopt concepts of Fourth Industrial Revolution

By: Nadine James     4th September 2018 The African rail industry must adopt the concepts and develop the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to facilitate, and realise, the industrialisation aspirations of the continent, delegates attending a South African Heavy Haul Association (SAHHA) technical workshop, on Tuesday,... 

In latest clash, Nigeria hands South Africa's MTN $2bn tax bill

By: Reuters     4th September 2018 MTN Group faces a $2-billion demand for taxes in Nigeria, the latest in a series of skirmishes with authorities in the South African mobile phone company's most lucrative but increasingly problematic market. The announcement of the tax bill incurred over the last decade comes days after the west... 

MTN says concludes sale of MTN Cyprus to Monaco Telecom

By: African News Agency      4th September 2018 South Africa-based multinational mobile telecommunications company MTN said on Tuesday it had concluded the sale of 100% of MTN Cyprus to Monaco Telecom. MTN announced on July 16 that its wholly owned subsidiary, MTN Dubai Limited, had entered into an agreement for the deal. 

Datatec subsidiary acquires Cape Town-based Clarotech

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd September 2018 JSE-listed technology firm Datatec’s Logicalis South Africa subsidiary has acquired Cape Town-based Clarotech. Clarotech offers Internet protocol telephony and call centre cloud and managed services to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the region. 

Spectrum challenge likely to be resolved by next year

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd September 2018 South Africa's years-long limbo over spectrum licensing and allocation could possibly be fully resolved by this time next year. Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) director-general Robert Nkuna on Monday promised action on the much-debated subject, as industry becomes... 

World’s most powerful particle accelerator benefits from South African computing expertise

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd September 2018 South African researchers have played a key role in developing and running the very powerful computer system, and the subsequent data analysis, that supports the Atlas detector in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which is the world’s biggest and most powerful particle accelerator. The LHC lies on... 

World’s most powerful particle accelerator benefits from South African computing expertise
Photo by CERN
The Atlas detector in the LHC

Safaricom faces $4.5m fine for failing to connect small firms

By: Reuters     3rd September 2018 Kenya's biggest telecoms operator Safaricom faces a fine of around $4.5-million for failing to connect calls made to smaller firms, according to company and regulatory documents reviewed by Reuters. The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has imposed a fine on Safaricom, part-owned by South... 

Chinese bank to lend Nigeria $328m for fixing telecom infrastructure

By: African News Agency      3rd September 2018 China’s Exim bank will lend Nigeria $328-million towards improving the West African country’s telecoms infrastructure, Reuters reported. Poor telecoms are a major challenge for businesses operating in Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest oil producer, most populous country and has one of the... 

South Africa wins bid to host world’s largest astronomy meeting in 2024

By: Simone Liedtke     31st August 2018 South Africa has won the bid to host the 2024 General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), marking its first assembly on African soil in its 105 years of existence. The next General Assembly will be held in South Korea in 2021, followed by Cape Town in 2024. 

South Africa wins bid to host world’s largest astronomy meeting in 2024
Photo by Dylan Slater
The MeerKAT radio telescope, located about 90 km from Canarvon in the Northern Cape

New tech, automation to change but also create jobs

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2018 New technologies, including advanced computing systems and the automation of various job activities, will change about 30% of activities in about 60% of occupations, and will require new skills across most industries, management consulting multinational McKinsey Global Institute global economic... 

Telecoms dept to bolster investment with ITU 2018

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st August 2018 As South Africa prepares to host the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2018, the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) and its sponsoring partners aim to bolster investment in the country, and the rest of Africa, by showcasing homegrown talent.... 

Jacobs to continue as Altron acting CFO until Feb

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st August 2018 A recruitment process to identify a permanent CFO for information and communications technology company Allied Electronics Corporation (Altron) is ongoing. Tim Jacobs, who was appointed acting CFO in March, will, therefore, continue to serve as acting CFO until February 28, 2019. 

MTN Uganda bets on music streaming as voice business slows

By: Reuters     31st August 2018 Telecom firm MTN Uganda is betting on a new music streaming product to boost revenue and counter declining voice call sales, its chief marketing officer said in an interview. The carrier, a unit of Johannesburg-listed MTN Group, is the largest in the East African country where it has a subscriber... 

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