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South Africa to issue national digital currency? | IT News Africa – Africa's Technology News Leader. The South African Reserve Bank has revealed they are open to the idea of adopting a national digital currency. (Siliconangle.com) The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) is open to the idea of issuing a national digital currency based on Blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), th according to a report by MoneyWeb.

Head of National Payments System at Sarb, Tim Masela said that “If we go the route of issuing a digital currency, the objective would be to take advantage of emerging technologies so that we reap the benefits.” According to BusinessTech, Africa is leading the way in rolling out successful national digital currencies, as Tunisia and soon Senegal will both have their own versions of digital national currencies. This has highlighted the benefits of using cryptocurrencies. The success has not gone unnoticed in South Africa. There are however clear risks and threats that are involved in adopting such a system. Staff Writer BlockchaincryptocurrencySouth African Reserve Bank.

Mobile app replaces keys for rental cars in South Africa. Bidvest Car Rental has launched Snappdrive, a mobile app which replaces keys for rental cars in South Africa. The app will allow users to locate their car, via their phone’s GPS, as well as unlock and start their vehicle without a physical key. Once customers are at their vehicle, they press the Unlock button in the app. To start the car’s engine, they press the Start button. Users will also receive an SMS prior to when the car is due back – which provides an opportunity for the customer to extend their rental period should they wish to.

“It really is as simple as Arrive, Unlock, and Drive,” said Gaynor Von Loggenburg, Bidvest Car Rental executive for sales and marketing. With telematics, Bidvest will also be able to track vehicles, which means real-time fleet management for Bidvest and their customers. “We will be able to collect real-time data on speed, mileage, and fuel usage,” said Bidvest. The Snappdrive app is available in Apple’s App store and the Google Play store. Virtual learning heralds a new era of education in South Africa. NB-IoT technology lands in Africa with MTN smart water solution. How secure is South Africa's "internet of things"?

Everything from your security system to your kettle is being connected to the internet, and that is, in many ways a good thing: feature-packed, remote controlled devices talking to each other can make your world a little bit more convenient and intelligent. But how aware are you about the bad side of the so-called “internet of things”? The first major detected global malware attack on internet connected devices occurred recently, and it shows how precariously we’re living and how little thought is being given to securing the internet of things. The malware in question is known as Mirai (not to be confused with a car of the same name) and its source code was published on the internet for ne’er-do-wells to use earlier this month. The point of Mirai is simple: find and break into connected devices and co-opt them into a botnet that can be used for bad things, like distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. The video below was created by MalwareTech and shows how Mirai has spread so far.

South Africa: A Phone APP for Pregnant Teens? Press release Just over one in 10 South African girls fall pregnant while still in their teens. The vast majority of these pregnancies are unplanned and can have serious consequences for the girls' health, as well as their life chances. Most affected are black girls from poor families.

A 2010 survey showed that almost a third of girls who dropped out of school did so because they were pregnant. Death rates during childbirth are among the highest in the world. Teens comprise 17% of females who die in childbirth, despite the fact that they make up only 11% of the total number of women giving birth. According to Professor Priscilla Reddy of the Human Research Sciences Council, most of these deaths are preventable. With timely medical intervention, these conditions are largely treatable. Prof Reddy announced a pilot study into a phone app aimed specifically at pregnant teens. Mmoho aims to reduce the occurrence of unplanned teen pregnancies.

At eight months, she experienced severe pains. Africa’s largest data centre built in Johannesburg – TechEye. Teraco, Africa’s vendor neutral data centre, is adding to its existing co-location facility to create Africa’s largest data centre in Johannesburg. Gys Geyser, Teraco Head of Operations says the 17,500sqm build is not just an extension of services and white space, but a milestone for Teraco and the African data centre industry. “In this expansion of our footprint, we are achieving what few companies have; building the largest data centre in Africa in accordance with modern international standards,” he said.

Geyser says that the build brings the total size of the Isando facility to 9,000sqm of white space and 18,500sqm of utility space. The volume of data centre space is directly related to the power feed negotiated with the local council: “We now have a total of 16MVA of power, which will ensure that we can adequately power the all the data centres, as well as ensure that they are properly cooled and maintained.” 7 Most Active Investors In African Tech In 2015. African tech startups received a total amount of funding in excess of US$185,785,500 in 2015, according to data compiled by Disrupt Africa. But where did that funding come from? The data is all contained in the Disrupt Africa African Tech Startups Funding Report 2015, available for purchasehere for US$50.

It reveals South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya were the top three destinations for tech investors in 2015, both in terms of numbers of deals and total amount of funding. Funding came from both Africa and abroad, with various investors putting amounts large and small into startups across the continent. Here are seven of the most active. EchoVC Headquartered in Lagos, VC firm EchoVC Partners arrived in Africa with a bang this year by backing two Nigerian tech startups – online hotel booking platform Hotels.ng, and digital printing startup Printivo.

Though EchoVC has only invested in Nigeria so far, it does plan to make investments in Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia eventually. Steve and Jean Case. South Africa: Ambitious Project to Teach Rural People to Code. By Benita Enoch Martha Phora matriculated with grades good enough to get her into an IT college. But like many young South Africans, her dream came to an abrupt end when she could not afford the fees to continue studying. Then WeThinkCode (WTC) came along. A non-profit organisation, it raised R10 million to establish a no-fee school to train people with aptitude for computer coding and place them in an institution with a full-time job. The organisation tries to remove barriers such as lack of finance and education. It has has encouraged people in rural areas to apply. For example, Phora is from rural Dalton in Limpopo. WTC uses a free online game called BornToCode to vet applicants. Arlene Mulder, co-founder, says, "Many people living in rural areas demonstrate the ability to problem solve, given the daily obstacles they have to overcome.

" An aptitude to solve problems does not depend on education, she says. "Here, we're not teaching you code. Phora is now 25 years old. Africa’s largest electricity producer aims to create an Uber-like electricity app. By: Aviwe Mtila Last Updated: 22 January 2016|15:17 GMT The General Manager of the centre, Barry MacColl, says the power utility is researching ways of producing cheaper electricity. Photo: Flickr Whilst public hearings that could see electricity tariffs raised by 17 per cent are taking place, the African continent’s largest electricity producer, Eskom, hosted members of the at its Research, Testing and Development Centre in Johannesburg. The General Manager of the centre, Barry MacColl, says the power utility is researching ways of producing cheaper electricity.

“Things like PV (solar energy) and wind are free. MacColl says Eskom is also looking at creating an electricity app that will operate like ‘Uber’. With the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) currently conducting public hearings that could see electricity tariffs raised by 17 per cent, Eskom’s spokesperson, Khulu Phasiwe, hopes the regulator will rule in Eskom’s favour. More South Africans shopping online this Christmas. While many South Africans have braved brick-and-mortar retailers in search of gifts this Christmas, there is an increasing number of people choosing to shop online. A report from The Foschini Group (TFG) has revealed that despite fears of phishing scams, more and more South Africans are using the internet to buy their goods and gifts. In a report on Bizcommunity, TFG Chief Information Officer, Brent Curry, said “We are seeing online stores outperforming the top offline stores, particularly @home which is trading as the number 1 store in the country.”

This fact is mirrored by a recent survey conducted by the eBucks rewards programme which found that 22% of South Africans would be doing their shopping online this year, a substantial increase from 10% in 2013 and 14% last year. Growth in South African ecommerce is hampered by fraud which many South Africans fear, creating a barrier to entry. There are, thankfully, payment apps that can reduce the risk of online credit card fraud. WeChat SA launches mobile wallet: includes P2P payments, SnapScan integration. By Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter on 24 November, 2015 100 WeChat South Africa on Tuesday announced the launch of WeChat Wallet, a mobile money offering that allows for peer-to-peer money transfers, the purchase of prepaid electricity and airtime, and the ability to cash out at retailers among other things.

According to WeChat SA head Brett Loubser, the service has been in the works for a little while now, and isn’t just a copy-paste of the mobile platform’s offerings in other markets, such as China. In fact, he pins WeChat’s South African successes to date to the fact that it’s been able to identify the needs of the local market, citing online radio station CliffCentral and micro-jobbing service M4Jam as two of the most successful examples of that localisation. He does however acknowledge that the offering is, at least in part, a bid by WeChat South Africa to catch up with what the platform offers in other markets. Driving transactions Cashing in…and out All about the bank 100. How much South Africans spend online. Cape Town to offer free wifi on buses. Instant messaging shows huge growth in South Africa. Downloading a podcast‚ dating and games have joined the popularity of instant messaging as massive growth areas in South African Internet activity. The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) on Tuesday released a report on South Africans’ changing Internet use over seven years: from 2007-2014.

Forty percent of adults – defined as people over the age of 16 – used their cellphone connectivity last year were using instant messaging‚ making this the most popular use of the Net‚ followed by Facebook and searching (both at 27%). Checking the weather and email are used by 13% of adults – less than the 15% of adults online who are now using the Internet for games. Online banking only reaches 7% of adults despite showing growth of 179% in the seven-year period.

The biggest changes in Internet activities between 2007-2014 are: IRR said it based its data on cellphone connectivity to measure Internet use because this is how a majority of South African adults access the Net. More smartphone news. More South Africans log on via mobile. South Africa: Internet users to reach 27 mln by 2019. South Africa is expected to see a rise in internet traffic as more people switch to smartphones and smart devices. This is according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index 2015, which was revealed by Fin24. The report forecasts that the number of internet users in South Africa is expected to rise 27 million by 2019, from 15 million in 2014. Internet protocol (IP) traffic has also been forecast to grow six-fold, representing an annual growth rate of 44 percent. According to the report, Cisco said that a significant percentage of that growth will centre on internet video consumption, with South Africans expected to download 43 billion minutes of video content by 2019.

As per the report details, South Africans will have 43 billion minutes of video content by 2019. The figure highlights the fact that consumers and businesses alike are using rich media clips as they head towards the digital era with the Internet of Everything (IoT), said Vernon Thaver, CEO at Cisco South Africa. SA’s Wallettec clocking up pan-African integration deals. South African mobile wallet integration startup Wallettec has signed integration deals with providers in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia and Zimbabwe since its launch in October of last year, and plans to increase merchant usage and revenues in 2015. Wallettec is a platform provider that specialises in mobile wallet integrations, currently used by cryptocurrencies, retailers, mobile banking institutions and other businesses looking to provide their clients with a better experience in banking and payments. The solution enables any mobile wallet or third party wallet system to interface with a point of sale (PoS), enabling the wallet owner to pay using his wallet account.

“As far as merchants go we are in discussions with three major retailer groups in South Africa who operate in South Africa as well as other African countries, and we are planning to go live before the end of February,” he said. South Africa’s police car of the future. Vodacom, in partnership with Samsung, has created the police car of the future, using fixed and mobile network infrastructure. The mobile and technology firms are showcasing how innovation and technology can support the South African Police Service. Vuyani Jarana, chief officer at Vodacom Business said: The information that we’ll be able to put at the disposal of the police, combined with coordination from a centralised control centre, will mean a step change in capabilities. In short, the police will be able to do more, in less time and at a lower cost than ever before.” Each vehicle includes cameras that are capable of number plate recognition.

Connectivity is provided by LTE and 3G technology underpinned by Vodacom’s high speed fibre and microwave network. Information gathered by the cameras and shared via the mobile connection can be cross-referenced with databases such as those administered by the Department of Transport and the Department of Home Affairs. More on technology in SA. SA sees online Retail explosion but Consumers still prefer physical Buying.

South Africa is poised for explosive growth in online shopping, but the majority, regardless of age, still prefer to visit a physical shop to buy products. Digital innovation is undoubtedly reshaping consumers’ buying behaviour. But it seems that most consumers, whether they live in Perth, Pittsburgh or Pretoria, are still using the Internet primarily to browse and not to buy. That was the message from local and international retail industry players who gathered at the annual congress of the SA Council of Shopping Centres in Cape Town recently. Broll Property Group’s Retail Consumer Survey 2014, which was released at the congress, reveals that 95% of SA shoppers still prefer to visit an actual store when buying products.

More interesting perhaps is that most consumers still expect the physical mall to be their shopping channel of choice in two years despite an expected increase in e-commerce. However, consumers are becoming more discerning in their choice of shopping destination. S.Africa's internet revenue estimated to hit R71.6 bln in 2018. Eight new innovative South African start-ups - htxt.africa. LinkedIn South Africa Has Some Fast Growing Industry Leaders [Infographic] - Social News Daily. Can Africa lead the creative revolution globally?