South African municipal districts must all have Silicon Valley skills hubs

To get in gear with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and in order to transfer digital skills and foster tech enterprise development, South Africa should introduce ‘hubs’ in all the 44 municipal districts, through public-private sector partnerships. “Silicon Valley” has become an expression synonymous with the digital economy and technological innovation. Silicon Valley is a region located in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay area in Northern California. It serves as global headquarters for many notable technology, innovation and social media companies, including Alphabet (Google), Apple, eBay, Facebook and…

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Coega favoured as investments flow in

Despite the deteriorating local and global economic investment environment, which has resulted in most of South Africa’s special economic zones (SEZs) struggling to attract investment, Coega in Port Elizabeth is riding the investment wave. The SEZ, which is operated by the Coega Development Corporation, has secured an additional 18 new investments valued at R2.6 billion, creating about 3 000 jobs during the 2018/19 financial year, against a target of R693 million. Investments in aquaculture, which include an abalone farm and a land-based fish farming facility, represent a third of the…

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School of specialisation on drive to the future

The future looks bright for maths and science pupils at the Katlehong Engineering School of Specialisation, on the East Rand, who will be trained as qualified car technicians by five big motor companies in SA. Yesterday, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi officially launched the school with a focus on manufacturing, transport and logistics. The school is situated in the eastern economic development corridor where the major industries are transport, manufacturing and logistics. Lesufi said the school has partnered with MerSeta (Manufacturing, engineering and related services Seta) to provide pupils with…

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Two SA cities leading in transformational tech in Africa

HARARE –  Two of South Africa’s big cities are leading Africa’s charge in embracing transformational technologies, which analysts at global IT research firm, Gartner, believe will spur spending on technology across the continent. According to Gartner, Cape Town is leading the charge through heavy investment in wireless communications. This is expected to boost the creation of an entrepreneurial base apart from boosting financial, manufacturing and tourism service industries. “Cape Town is investing heavily in wireless communications not just as a growth engine for the city’s financial, manufacturing and tourism industries, but…

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Mobile phones are replacing bank accounts in Africa

It doesn’t look like the hub of an online bank. But that’s what the yellow and blue metal kiosk becomes when Albert Agane locks himself behind the metal bars every day at 6am. From his perch along a dusty suburban thoroughfare in Accra, the 28-year-old helps fellow Ghanaians withdraw or deposit cash for accounts they operate from their mobile phones. All they need do is text. Mobile money is the fastest-growing source of income for wireless-network operators like MTN and Vodafone’s Safaricom unit, outpacing data since many Africans don’t have…

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SA businesses still in their comfort zone when it comes to AI – expert

  Despite pockets of excellence, there is a massive gap among South African businesses between understanding the impact of using technology and actually moving to embrace that technology, according to Arthur Goldstuck of World Wide Worx. Moreover, many have flagged poor connectivity as a barrier to moving ahead. “The secret that South African businesses should understand is that technology is not the enemy, but your ally,” Goldstuck said at the SAIPA Accounting Indaba in Cape Town on Tuesday.   More than half of businesses he recently surveyed indicated that they…

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Rising Cape Town dam levels to buoy agriculture and tourism

With Cape Town dam levels hitting a new high of 81.7% and average Western Cape dam levels set to top the psychological 65% mark, the agriculture and tourism sectors in the province are eyeing better prospects in coming months. Both city and provincial dam levels reached a four-year high in August, following the region’s worst drought in 100 years, which hit the agriculture, tourism and property sectors particularly badly. The City of Cape Town’s latest Dam levels report shows that the Western Cape Water Supply System, comprising the region’s six largest dams,…

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Volkswagen on the electric vehicle offensive

  Volkswagen Group South Africa is working on a comprehensive electric mobility strategy with the purpose of laying a strong foundation for the introduction of battery electric vehicles into its key brands and removing the risk to its lucrative export business. Read: More EVs for SA roads Thomas Schaefer, chairman and managing director of Volkswagen Group South Africa, said on Wednesday it was a myth if South Africa believed it could carry on producing vehicles with traditional engines when the rest of the world is going electric. Schaefer said at the…

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Uganda forms committee to fast-track penetration into African market after AfCFTA ratification

      INTERNATIONAL – After the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Uganda has formed a committee of ministers to fast-track the country’s penetration into the Africa market. Amelia Kyambadde, minister of trade, industry and cooperatives, told parliament on Tuesday that the committee will strategize Uganda’s competitiveness in the market, among others. “With the integration of the African continent, Uganda stands to benefit from expanded markets, stimulation of increased productivity, increase in trade and services and employment,” Kyambadde said. “We are immediately targeting livestock products, coffee,…

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Renergen signs $40m loan agreement with US govt for gas project in SA

    JOHANNESBURG – Emerging liquefied natural gas and helium producer, Renergen, on Wednesday said it had signed a $40 million (R610m) loan agreement with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for a gas project in the Free State province. Renergen’s principal asset is its 90 percent shareholding in Tetra4, which holds the first and only onshore petroleum production right in South Africa, giving it first mover advantage on distribution of domestic natural gas. OPIC is the US government’s development finance institution that mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and…

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