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Technology & Communications News

Active pharmaceutical ingredients pilot plant marks important step for SA industry

By: Keith Campbell     24th November 2017 A pilot plant for the manufacture of generic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) has been officially opened in Pretoria. A R50-million joint project between local company CPT Pharma (CPT standing for Chemical Process Technologies), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the... 

Company assists in developing WiFi blueprint for educational institutions

By: Nadine James     24th November 2017 Wireless connectivity firm Ruckus will form part of a consortium of companies developing a blueprint for the implementation of WiFi and other IT services at education institutions.  Ruckus sub-Saharan Africa director Riaan Graham says this blueprint, which will eventually be sent to the National... 

Company assists in developing WiFi blueprint  for educational institutions
RIAAN GRAHAM The functionality would be similar, be it a small public school or large university campus.

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 The launch of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid on Robben Island – the World Heritage Site in Table Bay, Cape Town, which, until recently, relied on diesel to generate electricity – not only showcases the versatile advantages of microgrid technology, but also... 

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

Power and utilities drone market worth more than $9bn

By: Dylan Slater     24th November 2017 The international drone market comprising solutions that use drones for the power and utilities industries is worth as much as $9.46-billion a year, according to a report published by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  

Driving innovation in public transport

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th November 2017 Location-based services (LBS) will be a driving force in the public transport sector, and are being used to drive efficiency in the industry, enthuses access network infrastructure provider Ruckus sub-Saharan Africa sales director Riaan Graham. LBS allows service providers and enterprises to... 

Steel company’s optimism fuels technology investment appetite

By: Nica Schreuder     24th November 2017 Steel supplier and processing company Allied Steelrode’s optimism regarding long-term prospects for South Africa’s economy and steel industry has prompted it to continually invest in quality steel equipment. Such an investment was made through the buying of the BLM Adige LT20 jumbo tube laser in... 

Steel company’s optimism fuels technology investment appetite
Photo by Bloomberg
TUBULAR INNOVATION The LT20 creates new possibilities and innovation for architects and structural designers

GirlCode floats ambitions of becoming world’s largest women's digital agency

By: Dylan Slater     23rd November 2017 Nonprofit organisation (NPO) GirlCode, which aims to empower women in the technology sector, on Thursday revealed its new programmes for 2018, as well as its Vision 2030 ambitions, which includes reaching ten-million women by 2030. GirlCode chairperson Zandile Keebine commented that reaching that... 

South African nuclear body shuts down key unit because of compliance failure 

By: Keith Campbell     22nd November 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has executed an immediate shut down of its NTP Radiochemical Facility, because of non-compliance with licensing conditions. NTP produces radioisotopes for both industrial and an especially medical purposes, and many cancer and other patients in... 

South African nuclear body shuts down key unit because of compliance failure
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An aerial view of Necsa’s complex at Pelindaba

Shell collaboration helps power London buses with coffee waste

By: Nica Schreuder     20th November 2017 International energy and petrochemicals group Shell, in partnership with London-based clean technology company bio-bean and UK biodiesel producer Argent Energy, is helping power some of London’s buses through a new coffee biodiesel project – launched on Monday – which uses a biofuel made partly... 

Icasa publishes second draft of End-User and Subscriber Service Charter

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th November 2017 The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has published a second draft of the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter regulations for public input. Interested stakeholders have until January 3 to submit their written comments, following which, Icasa will host public... 

Benin government requests MTN Benin CEO to leave the country

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th November 2017 The Benin government has ordered MTN Benin CEO Stephen Blewett to leave the country within seven days. Blewett, who has lived in the country since 2015, on Friday received official notification to exit the country by November 24 on the basis of his alleged engagement in “activities detrimental to... 

New antenna concept from CSIR promises savings for wireless sensor networks 

By: Keith Campbell     17th November 2017 A team at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR's) Meraka Institute has developed a novel concept to extend the power consumption of fixed wireless sensor networks. This was unveiled at the CSIR Licensing & Ventures Dragons Den event at the CSIR International Convention... 

Agreement on environmental monitoring of Karoo radio astronomy area

By: Keith Campbell     17th 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... 

High-tech SA firm aiming to revolutionise production of electronic components

By: Keith Campbell     17th November 2017 A small South African high-technology company is seeking to revolutionise the production of a key category of components for aerospace electronics and radars by using additive manufacturing (more popularly known as 3D Printing). The company is NewSpace Systems (a finalist in this year’s Western... 

New technologies promise to improve air traffic management

By: Keith Campbell     17th November 2017 Air traffic control/air traffic management (ATC/ATM) agencies need to embrace new technologies in order to further improve air safety. This was stressed by Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (Canso) Director General Jeff Poole at the recent Canso Global ATM Safety Conference 2017 in... 

Monitoring system streamlines maintenance activities

By: Robyn Wilkinson     17th November 2017 Global test equipment manufacturer Fluke is enjoying significant market success following the launch of Fluke Connect ™, which combines high-quality test tools and digital technology to help small, medium-sized and large industrial companies streamline critical maintenance operations. 

Monitoring system streamlines maintenance activities
INSTANT INFORMATION Measurements obtained from Fluke Connect enabled tools can be viewed simultaneously at the inspection site and from an off-site location

Organisations’ digital memory gets cloud boost

By: Schalk Burger     17th November 2017 The new multipurpose cloud archiving solution, launched by e-mail management multinational Mimecast, can be used to ensure effective archiving of the email communications and documents that function as a company’s “digital memory”, says Mimecast Sales Enablement Manager Nick Saunders. The... 

Organisations’ digital memory  gets cloud boost
NICK SAUNDERS Email serves as the digital memory of companies and remains the main medium for business communications

Big Data, analytics to improve responses to natural disasters

By: Schalk Burger     17th November 2017 The effective use of analytics to interrogate data related to, for example, geography, population and mobile device usage can help authorities discern underlying patterns and associations that will allow for relevant emergency services to quickly react to floods, fires and other pressing... 

Big Data, analytics to improve responses to natural disasters
ANESHAN RAMLOO Emergency response agencies can model potential disasters and their effects, and enable authorities to develop proactive plans to prevent or mitigate harmful consequences

SKA site doubles as environmental observatory 

16th November 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to senior journalist Keith Campbell about the Integrated Environmental Management Plan for Phase 1 of the Square Kilometre Array. 

SKA site doubles as environmental observatory
SKA site doubles as environmental observatory

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2017 Trade union Solidarity has ranked South African Airways (SAA) as the most poorly managed State-owned enterprise (SOE) in the country. Speaking at the launch of its latest report ‘South African State Institutions and the Value for Tax Money’, on Wednesday, Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said SAA... 

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

Vodacom’s M-Pesa ambitions heat up post Safaricom transaction

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th November 2017 Following the R35-billion acquisition of a 34.94% stake in Kenya’s largest telecoms group Safaricom, JSE-listed telecommunications giant Vodacom plans to drive the development of its newly revamped M-Pesa platform. Speaking at Vodacom’s interim results, in Midrand, on Monday, CEO Shameel Joosub... 

Datatec puts disappointing first half behind it, looks forward to improvements

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th November 2017 Information and communications technology solutions and services provider Datatec on Monday said trading in the first half of its 2018 financial year had been disappointing, with the company reporting earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $39-million for the six months... 

Vodacom records H1 uptick in headline earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th November 2017 JSE-listed Vodacom on Monday posted a 1.1% uptick in headline earnings a share to 445c for the first half of the financial year. In the six months ended September 30, group earnings before interest and taxes contracted by 0.2% to R10.8-billion, as a result of higher growth in depreciation and... 

Vodacom records H1 uptick in headline earnings
Photo by Duane Daws
Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub

Telkom eyes business portfolio review

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th November 2017 As JSE-listed Telkom delivers muted half-year financial results, the group plans to continue seeking a sustainable growth framework, reviewing its business portfolio and prioritising strategic initiatives. This includes a review of the telecommunications giant’s legacy network and information... 

Telkom eyes business portfolio review
Photo by Duane Daws
Telkom group CEO Sipho Maseko

Important step for local pharmaceutical industry as key pilot plant launched

By: Keith Campbell     10th November 2017 A pilot plant for the manufacture of generic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) was officially opened in Pretoria on Friday. A R50-million joint project between local company CPT Pharma (CPT standing for Chemical Process Technologies), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the... 

MTN receives notice of regulatory hearing in Benin

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th November 2017 Telecommunications firm MTN Benin on Friday confirmed the receipt of a notification from the telecommunications regulator Arcep for a review into nonpayment of outstanding frequency fees. The company, in a statement, explained that it would continue to engage the regulatory authorities in Benin... 

Challenging economic environment keeps Telkom H1 financials flat

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th November 2017 The latest half-year financial results delivered by JSE-listed Telkom have been marred by a tough economic climate and increased competition that have muted overall growth across the board for the six months ended September 30. During the first half of the year, an uncertain political, economic... 

1 000 locally manufactured valves sold to aid electrical power distribution

By: Nadine James     10th November 2017 National research institution Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) collaboration with valve manufacturer Paltechnologies (Paltech) has led to the first locally manufactured aluminium valve. To date, about 1 000 butterfly valves, each 80 mm in diameter, have been manufactured... 

1 000 locally manufactured valves sold to aid electrical power distribution
PALTECH BUTTERFLY VALVE Forms part of a number of products selected by Eskom for localisation

Monitoring energy consumption fosters efficiency

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Being aware of how much energy one consumes is key in energy efficiency and management, and has the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption in businesses and residential households, says industrial switchgear, automation and energy efficiency product distributor ElectroMechanica (EM)... 

Monitoring energy consumption  fosters efficiency
SMART SOLUTIONS ElectroMechanica’s smart home solutions enable users to control and monitor their energy consumption from their smartphone

Large national manufacturers not main determinant of aerospace success

By: Keith Campbell     10th November 2017 Germany serves as a leading example of a country that has a major and successful aeronautical industry but does not have a single wholly- or predominantly-German owned aerospace original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This was highlighted by Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR – German... 

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right

By: Mia Breytenbach     10th November 2017 The Petroleum Agency of South Africa has granted integrated alternative and renewable-energy business Renergen’s Tetra4 subsidiary environmental authorisation for its Free State natural gas development. The authorisation, the processing of which has taken more than two years, with multiple rounds... 

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right
PRODUCTION EXPANSION While Tetra4 already produces compressed natural gas, new expansions will include the liquefaction of the gas – the first in South Africa

Nigeria, Russia sign nuclear agreements

By: Keith Campbell     10th November 2017 Nigeria has signed agreements with Russia covering the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant (NPP) and a nuclear research reactor and associated research facilities, Russia’s State-owned nuclear group Rosatom has announced. The two countries also signed a cooperation roadmap... 

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities  

By: Simone Liedtke     10th November 2017 A key focus point of the African Energy Indaba (AEI) – which celebrates its ten-year milestone next year – is to provide access to project opportunities across the African continent. 

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities
Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) MD Liz Hart, AEI chairperson Brian Statham and South African Electrotechnical Export Council CEO Chiboni Evans discuss the AEI next year. Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

AI can help shed light on value of a company’s intangible assets

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2017 Artificial Intelligence (AI), by performing repetitive tasks or helping with tasks that rely on masses of data, will allow for a more accurate valuation of intangible assets, such as human capital, performance and expertise, which are often more valuable in the emerging knowledge economy than... 

Business process workload and orchestration platform launched in SA

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2017 Software multinational CA Technologies has launched its Automic One Automation workload, release and orchestration products platform in Southern Africa, says Automic Middle East, Africa and Turkey sales VP Nabil Ben Abdallah. IT systems form an integral part the foundations of every company.... 

Business process workload and orchestration platform launched in SA
NABIL BEN ABDALLAH Automic enables companies to add new in-house and cloud-based applications and functions seamlessly

Data on habits of small-store shoppers offers valuable insights for manufacturers

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2017 Virtual distribution platform company Selpal gathers detailed data of retail shoppers’ habits from small retailers to provide manufacturers with granular insight into the shopping habits of their target audiences, says Selpal CEO Stephen Goldberg. Selpal’s business model helps to guide... 

Integrated, automated security fabric to protect business devices and data

By: Schalk Burger     10th November 2017 The complexity of cyberattacks on businesses and the difficulty in proactively protecting dynamic and flexible networks, as well as the devices and data used in daily business processes, has increased the need for businesses to deploy integrated and automated security technologies. A consolidated... 

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