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Natasha Odendaal

Natasha Odendaal

Natasha Odendaal is Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor for Engineering News and Mining Weekly.

MTN achieves 98% network availability in Limpopo province

17th May 2024 As telecommunications giant MTN South Africa accelerates its nationwide modernisation programme, the company has achieved a record 98.33% daily network availability in Limpopo. The 2024 resilience plan, which was completed in the first quarter of the year, aims to ensure that all sites have... 

Spending on telecoms services forecast to decelerate this year

17th May 2024 While global spending on telecommunications and pay television (TV) services increased during 2023, growth started slowing in the second half of the year, with expectations that it will slow further in 2024. According to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semi-annual... 

Hypervine launches satellite survey service

10th May 2024 Satellite imagery and data analytics specialist and greentech business Hypervine has launched a new unlimited satellite surveys service. The Glasgow-headquartered group aims to provide cost-effective, accurate and comprehensive global data on precise mineral mapping, openpit mines and some... 

High cellphone penetration rate positions continent to leverage 4IR technologies

10th May 2024 Africa has an advantage when leveraging ever-developing Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies to overcome the deficits created by a lack of infrastructure and geographical distances: its high cellphone penetration rate. Amid one of the largest cellphone penetration rates in the world,... 

Need to reduce electricity use overlooked in efforts to mitigate water challenges

3rd May 2024 A crucial missing element in current water management strategies is reducing electricity consumption, says CBI-electric: low voltage engineering executive Dr Andrew Dickson. Discussing Johannesburg's current water crisis, which raises urgent concerns about the city’s and South Africa’s long-term... 

Africa’s water challenges present opportunities for innovation, private-sector involvement

3rd May 2024 Water scarcity poses a significant hurdle to Africa's growth and development, with climate change and deteriorating infrastructure intensifying the challenges. However, the challenges present opportunities for innovative solutions and private-sector participation, says Frost & Sullivan consultant... 

Samsung claims back its position as leading smartphone provider

3rd May 2024 As worldwide smartphones shipments continued on a path of recovery during the first quarter of 2024, Samsung has once again surpassed Apple as the leading smartphone provider. Preliminary data from the International Data Corporation’s (IDC’s) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that... 

SA mines get first look at private 5G in action

2nd May 2024 Fixed-wireless access provider Comsol has showcased the capabilities of private fifth-generation (5G) infrastructure to South African mining companies at its Midrand premises to demonstrate multiple indoor and outdoor use cases, with clients actively involved in the tests. Hosting immersive,... 

DCDT to establish artificial intelligence advisory panel

26th April 2024 The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) is preparing to establish an artificial intelligence (AI) expert advisory council as it moves to shape the policies and regulations around AI adoption and development in South Africa. Starting the process, the department hosted a... 

Telcos spend billions on batteries, generators to ensure customers remain connected during loadshedding

26th April 2024 South African telecommunications operators spent billions of rands to keep communications infrastructure operational during bouts of loadshedding in the 12 months to September 30, 2023. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa’s) latest State of Information Communication... 

Lowered profile, integral bogeys the answer as Condra is set to install crane in factory with limited headroom

26th April 2024 Crane manufacturer Condra Cranes is preparing to embark on a crane installation to customer specifications in a factory that has no roof access and limited headroom. The team of Condra specialists, set to undertake the installation at the customer’s Johannesburg factory in April, will leverage... 

Africa’s small businesses increasingly investing in technology to boost growth and resilience

19th April 2024 Africa’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly investing in technology to bolster growth and enable resilience, a new report shows. The report, titled ‘Levelling the SME playing field’ and jointly launched by Vodacom Group, Vodafone Group and Safaricom, shows that nearly 70%... 

E-waste now the fastest growing waste stream globally

19th April 2024 Electronic waste (e-waste) has now become the fastest-growing form of waste worldwide, as consumers shed more than 50-million metric tonnes of e-waste each year – equating to about 7 kg of e-waste a person – with only 17% properly recycled. Most e-waste is either dumped, burnt or unaccounted for,... 

People at the heart of South Africa’s water sector recovery

12th April 2024 The complexity of the water sector in South Africa, along with the numerous and seemingly insurmountable challenges faced, demands a series of integrated interventions – and people are at the centre of these solutions. South Africa’s long-known water woes are the result of several factors,... 

People at the heart of South Africa’s water sector recovery

MTN South Africa injects R10bn into network expansion

12th April 2024 MTN South Africa deployed R10.1-billion in capital expenditure (capex), excluding leases, at an intensity of 19.5%, during 2023, to drive network capacity expansion and power resilience. This formed part of MTN Group’s overall R41.1-billion capex spend across its 19 markets during the year ended... 

Discontinuance of Africa’s 2G, 3G networks to be gradual and targeted

12th April 2024 While there are benefits to phasing out legacy networks, such as second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G), progress in sub-Saharan Africa will be slower and more targeted than other regions. Globally, operators are – or, in the case of developing economies, are considering – phasing out... 

Accessing the growth potential of tailings retreatment and rehabilitation

11th April 2024 New research, developments in technology and advancements in equipment are unlocking significant growth opportunities in the extraction and treatment of tailings in South Africa. However, while there are many benefits in the development of the tailings sector, various risks remain, including the... 

Accessing the growth potential of tailings retreatment and rehabilitation

SAʼs smartphone shipments surge 29%

5th April 2024 Smartphone shipments in South Africa in 2023 expanded 29%, driven by robust shipments in the second half of the year, intensified competition among Chinese original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and numerous promotional activities by major OEMs, the latest data from research firm Counterpoint's... 

UCT research team develops ‘new set of tools’ to support mine closure planning in South Africa

5th April 2024 A new set of tools aimed at assisting in responsible and sustainable mine closures across South Africa has been developed by a University of Cape Town (UCT) research team through a Water Research Commission (WRC) project. Useful for governments, industry, civil society, academia and international... 

Liquid C2, partners combine forces to create safer, more productive digital experience

5th April 2024 Pan-African technology group Liquid Intelligent Technologies business Liquid C2 is collaborating with global technology leader Google Cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) company Anthropic to bring advanced cloud, cybersecurity solutions and generative AI capabilities for businesses across... 

MTN, Huawei sign MoU for joint innovation tech laboratory

29th March 2024 Telecommunications giant MTN Group and information and communication technology (ICT) giant Huawei have partnered to create a Joint Innovation Technology laboratory at MTN’s Roodepoort headquarters. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed at the Mobile World Congress, held in Spain, in... 

Vodacom SA awarded 5-Star Green Star certification

29th March 2024 Telecommunications group Vodacom South Africa has been awarded 5-Star existing building performance (EPB) certifications for two of its buildings, Vodacom’s Business Park and Corporate Park, at its Midrand headquarters. The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) accreditations, signifying... 

ICT industry transitioning into intelligent economy era

29th March 2024 The global information and communication technology (ICT) industry is undergoing a significant shift as the world transitions from a digital era into an era of the intelligence of everything. As the now-entrenched digital era advances, ICT giant Huawei is preparing for the next technological leap. 

Mobile industry commits over $9bn to ITU’s call for global universal connectivity

22nd March 2024 The mobile industry committed over $9-billion in investment to extend global connectivity. The new industry commitments brings the total current value of planned investment in infrastructure, services and support to the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU’s) Partner2Connect Digital... 

Condra refurbishing Mpumalanga power station’s 39-year-old crane

22nd March 2024 Crane manufacturer Condra Cranes is refurbishing a 40 t electric overhead travelling crane that was manufactured and commissioned 39 years ago. The 21-metre-span double-girder crane is used for maintenance duties at an Mpumalanga power station since being delivered and installed in 1985. 

Huawei intent on unlocking potential of networks through commercialisation of 5.5G

15th March 2024 Following the success of fifth-generation (5G) technology over the past five years, information and communications technology (ICT) giant Huawei aims to unlock the potential of networks and create new growth opportunities with its commercialisation phase of 5.5G, or 5G Advanced. “5G is on the... 

Water technology firm, association ink MoU

8th March 2024 Water technology company Xylem and the African Water and Sanitation Association (AfWASA) have embarked on an innovative partnership, formalising their strategic and cooperative collaboration through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU, which was established on January 24, indicates a... 

AI-based PCs poised to account for 60% of all PC shipments by 2027

8th March 2024 Personal computers (PCs) installed with specific system-on-a-chip (SoC) capabilities designed to run generative artificial intelligence (AI) tasks locally are expected to account for 60% of all PC shipments by the end of 2027. This is according to a new forecast from International Data... 

Call for continued public participation in wetland protection, preservation

1st March 2024 The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has called for continued public participation in the protection and preservation of South Africa’s critical wetlands. Wetlands play a significant role in flood prevention, clean water provision, support of biodiversity and provision of recreational... 

Nokia to support initiative to expand rural connectivity coverage in Africa

1st March 2024 As connectivity in rural regions across Africa lag that of the more populous urban areas, technology company Nokia aims to provide support to accelerate the pace of connectivity in these harder to reach areas. Nokia, with its broad portfolio of mobile network products, sees a real need to provide... 

Rand Water launches programme to rid Vaal river of invasive water lettuce

1st March 2024 Rand Water has embarked on a programme to clear the invasive water lettuce currently overwhelming the Vaal river. The water utility, after being approached by communities, had been working with Rhodes University and various technical experts, as well as local communities, to develop options to... 

South Africa urged to increase investment in innovation

23rd February 2024 South Africa needs more collective investment to boost its innovation ecosystem and ensure that the investment is translated into improving everyday lives, says Telkom Group innovation and transformation executive Dr Mmaki Jantjies. Innovation is widely acknowledged as being vital to economic... 

Bayobab lands 2Africa subsea cable in Ghana, Nigeria

23rd February 2024 Following its two milestone landings in South Africa in 2022, pan-African digital connectivity solutions company Bayobab has now landed the 2Africa cable in Ghana and Nigeria. The 45 000 km cable, which was launched in May 2020, is being deployed by the 2Africa consortium, which includes China... 

Policing forums to help MTN tackle theft, vandalism

23rd February 2024 Telecommunications giant MTN is adding another approach to its efforts in mitigating the ongoing vandalism and theft of batteries and cables at its cellphone towers across South Africa by partnering with the Gauteng Provincial Community Police Board. MTN South Africa last year accelerated its... 

Digitalisation is the key to SME success in 2024

16th February 2024 For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to drive sustainable economic growth across South Africa in 2024, digital transformation is critical. The impact of SME digitalisation is far-reaching, promoting sustainable economic growth, inclusivity and resilience against economic headwinds. 

New task team to review municipal water, sanitation service delivery mechanisms

16th February 2024 A new nationally coordinated task team is being established to review service delivery mechanisms for water and sanitation services in South Africa. The task team, comprising the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), the Department Corporative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and... 

Waning perceptions of drinking water quality underline need for urgent intervention

9th February 2024 While the majority of South Africans perceive their water to be safe to drink, their confidence in water services and quality has been deteriorating over the last decade, a water services barometer study has revealed. The 2022 water services barometer study, undertaken by the Water Research... 

Waning perceptions of drinking water quality  underline need for urgent intervention

Competition Commission media and digital inquiry public hearings to start in March

9th February 2024 The Competition Commission is preparing to hold the first round of public hearings on its Media and Digital Platforms Market Inquiry (MDPMI). The inquiry was officially launched in October after publishing the final terms of reference (ToRs) in September 2023. 

Telkom says it has made ‘significant strides’ against vandalism, cable theft

9th February 2024 Telecommunications group Telkom says it has made significant strides against cable theft and vandalism as various joint initiatives drive down infrastructure-related crime at its facilities. Joint efforts between Telkom and the South African Police Service (SAPS) is helping to turn the tide on... 

Installing higher efficiency motors can help address energy crisis

2nd February 2024 Energy-intensive industries, such as mining, are increasingly seeking out ways to reduce energy consumption, and the use of the latest motor and drive technology can play a significant role. Energy-intensive industries not only need to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiencies for... 

New Vodafone-Microsoft partnership aims to scale generative AI, digital and cloud services

2nd February 2024 Vodafone and Microsoft have entered into a new 10-year strategic partnership to scale generative artificial intelligence (AI), digital services and cloud services. The far-reaching partnership will see the companies collaborate in five identified key areas, namely generative AI, scaling the... 

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