Author: Gugu Lourie

Southern Africa Telecommunications Association (SATA) on Friday launched a digital sharing platform to address the challenges of knowledge sharing in the region. SATA was founded in 1980 in line with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Treaty. It regroups companies from the information and communications technology industry. It aims at spearheading regional ICT infrastructure and services developments. Its vision is to become the most dynamic and value-adding organisation that facilitates the building of a prosperous information society for the SADC region. At the launch of the digital sharing platform in Port Louis, SATA chairman and CEO of Mauritius Telecom, Sherry…

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South Africa’s first fully digital bank TymeBank is adding up to 3, 500 customers a day as it leverages the use of digital biometric technology to make banking simple and affordable. The bank, which is backed by billionaire Patrice Motsepe, has on-boarded 500 000 customers as at 30 June 2019. TymeBank is owned by African Rainbow Capital (ARC) Financial Services Holdings, a company within Motsepe’s Ubuntu-Botho Investments stable. African Rainbow Capital said on Thursday in a statement that the bank is signing up between 3 000 and 3 500 customers per day, with about 40% of bank accounts being active. “The…

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Apple today formally announced its launch plans for its new TV streaming service, Apple TV+. The new TV streaming service will be available globally from November 1. The service will be available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including online at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. Starting today, customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share one Apple TV+ subscription. Subscribers can…

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Worldwide, malaria kills an estimated 435 000 each year, mostly children under the age of five, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. A South African biotech startup ERADA Technology Alliance (ERADA) has developed saliva-based malaria asymptomatic and asexual rapid test (Smaart) test known as Salva! which the startup claims is a world first. Mining group De Beers has contributed €288 000 (R4.7 million) in ERADA. The foundation grant – which has been facilitated by De Beers Group’s Venetia Diamond Mine in Limpopo, in the Northern province of South Africa close to the border with Zimbabwe and Botswana – will support Smaart. SALVA’s global…

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More and more people in Ghana and Uganda are adopting the services of aYo, a mobile micro-insurance joint venture between MTN and SA’s third-biggest insurer Momentum Metropolitan. Its products, which are designed for the lower-income segment of mobile phone users, focus on digitally enabled, high volume, low-value transactions offering flexible payment and cover options “While aYo clients enrolments increased by a pleasing 233% to 4.0 million year-on-year, it has yet to achieve sufficient scale to fund the overhead costs,” said Momentum Metropolitan in its latest integrated annual report. The JSE-listed insurer said the rollout of aYo to additional markets should…

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JSE-listed technology firm Altron said on Friday it has placed executives at one of its subsidiaries on precautionary suspension following an investigation that has revealed potential internal irregularities. The three executives work for Altron Nexus. Altron Nexus provides a variety of converged telecommunication services ranging from the distribution of professional two-way radio products and systems across sub-Saharan Africa through Alcom Radio Distributors, operating the largest trunked radio network in South Africa through Fleetcall and providing end-to-end ICT system integration services through Alcom Matomo. The executives were suspended after an investigation that has revealed potential internal irregularities. The investigation came after Altron received…

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Digitisation and automation could result in a net gain of up to 1.2 million jobs in South Africa by 2030, a new report reveals. The Future of Work in South Africa: Digitisation, productivity and job creation report from McKinsey & Company states that technology-related gains could triple South Africa’s productivity growth, more than double growth in per capita income, and add more than a percentage point to its real GDP growth rate over the next decade. South Africa is poised for notable change. The advance of technology – including machine learning, artificial intelligence and advanced robotics – is rapid and…

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First National Bank (FNB) customers sent more than R26 billion worth of eWallet funds in the year to end-June 2019. This was derived from eWallet transactions processed in the year and was a 25% year-on-year rise in the value of funds compared to R21 billion in 2018. eWallet allows FNB customers to send money to anyone with a valid SA cell number. The money is transferred instantly and can be used to buy prepaid airtime, send money to another cellphone and more. The money can be withdrawn from an FNB ATM or select retail stores. eWallet was introduced in 2009.…

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MIC Investment Holdings (MIC) has disposed of its empowerment shareholding in Westcon Southern Africa (Westcon SA). MIC is an investment company and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mineworkers Investment Company. The Mineworker’s Investment Company is a 100% black-owned broad-based investment holding company that was established by the Mineworkers Investment Trust (MIT) to provide ongoing funding for the Trust’s social and educational projects. MIC has sold off its 40% stake to Ascension Capital Partners, a private equity investor. “I am delighted to welcome Ascension as our new BEE partner in Westcon SA and thank the MIC for its valued contributions during its nine…

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Cell C, South Africa’s troubled mobile phone operator that is half-owned by JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms, is being run by an illegal board of directors, Cell C’s empowerment partner alleges. Claims are that 3C, the holding company of Cell C, has since last year been ‘fraudulently’ constituted. Cell C was founded in November 2001 and 3C Telecommunications owned 100% of the mobile phone operator. When Cell C was finally recapitalised in 2017 by Blue Label Telecoms, which ended up owning 45%, JSE and Nasdaq-listed Net1 UEPS Technologies took 15%, 3C Telecommunications reduced its 100% stake to 30%, and Cell C…

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