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2 new solar power systems launched in South Africa



The Austrian ambassador to South Africa officially launched two large solar power installations in Johannesburg today.

These SOLTRAIN projects include a district heating plant for Wits University residences and a solar process heating plant for the Klein Karoo International (KKI) tannery.

The Wits Junction district heating project combines solar, co-generation, and gas heating technologies, serving 14 student residence buildings that house 1,103 students with hot water from one centralised hot water plant room. This installation includes a 600m2 solar heating plant with 10m2 collectors.

The estimated costs savings delivered by this project are R40 million over the next 20 years, and Wits has seen substantial electricity savings over the trial period of eight months.

The KKI tannery section has also installed a 600m2 solar collector system as it seeks to reduce its costs and increase its competitiveness.

Stellenbosch University, which approached KKI with the proposal, predicts a payback of 6.5 years based on a financial model analysis from the feasibility study, which includes maintenance, finance costs, and all system-related expenses.

“SANEDI is delighted to be associated with such landmark developments that put the SOLTRAIN projects firmly on the renewables table,” said Dr Karen Surridge, centre manager for the renewable energy centre at SANEDI.

“The successful conference we have just held with SOLTRAIN partners indicates the relevance of this highly successful programme for the SADC renewable energy strategy and the development in successful systems across six countries.”

Presentation Board Display in the plant

Wits Junction Solar panels from drone view

Now read: South African sugar industry can help Eskom to solve electricity shortage

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NTT forms London-based subsidiary | ITWeb




NTT’s announcement was one of the main stories of the international ICT market last week.

At home, various announcements by EOH and Naspers were the local highlights.

  • PayU, Naspers’ payments and fintech business, acquired a majority stake in Red Dot Payment, a Southeast Asia-focused online payment solutions provider.
  • RIB, a wholly owned subsidiary of German-listed RIB Software, bought 70% of Construction Computer Software together with its subsidiaries, which is currently held by EOH Mthombo. The deal was worth R444.39 million.
  • EQT and Naspers led a EUR30 million investment, via the Naspers Ventures division, in European micro-mobility firm Dott.
  • Leratadima Marketing Solutions, one of the chosen three companies to manufacture the first batch of government-subsidised set-top boxes, has been placed into liquidation.
  • The MTN Group’s GlobalConnect, its wholesale infrastructure firm, is now an operating company of the group and will be headquartered in Dubai.
  • A renewed JSE cautionary by EOH.
  • The appointment of Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa as CEO of Naspers SA.
  • Mixed year-end figures from Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, with revenue up 32.2% but profit down 19.7%.
  • A full-year loss from TelOne (Zimbabwe), although revenue up 5%.
  • Workz Group, an Ireland-based IOT and mobile solutions provider, has opened an office in Dakar, Senegal, to engage the West African telecommunications market. The Dakar office is the company’s second location in Africa, after establishing an office in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 2018.
  • ENGO Holdings, a Chinese electronics firm, has joined Uganda’s industrial sector to domestically manufacture and assemble mobile phones and laptop computers.
  • The appointment of Michael Joseph as interim CEO of Safaricom.
  • The death of Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom.
  • Applied Materials acquired Kokusai Electric from KKR, a private equity company, for $2.2 billion.
  • Contentsquare, which provides insights into customers’ digital experiences, bought Israeli rival Clicktale.
  • EPAM Systems purchased an educational content services company, Competentum, and its learning platform, ShareKnowledge.
  • Exabeam, a cyber security firm, acquired SkyFormation, an Israeli cloud application security company.

Britain’s competition regulator has launched an investigation into the power wielded by Facebook and Google in digital advertising markets.

  • KKR bought Corel from another private equity firm, Vector Capital, for more than $1 billion.
  • NCR purchased D3 Technology, a provider of online and mobile banking for the large financial institution market.
  • Ricoh acquired DocuWare, a cloud and on-premises document management and workflow automation software business.
  • ScanSource bought intY, a UK-based distributor of cloud services.
  • StorCentric purchased Retrospect, which develops data protection and recovery tools for consumers, prosumers and SMEs. It also bought Vexata, an all-flash array vendor.
  • Apple’s main regulator in the European Union, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, opened a third privacy investigation into the iPhone maker over the past few weeks.
  • Britain’s competition regulator has launched an investigation into the power wielded by Facebook and Google in digital advertising markets, including the ownership of data.
  • Equinix has formed a joint venture with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, to develop and operate xScale data centres in Europe. The JV is worth more than $1 billion and is 20% owned by the former and 80% by the latter.
  • German authorities have issued Facebook with a EUR2 million fine under a law designed to combat hate speech.
  • Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation has launched NTT, a global technology services provider that brings together the capabilities of 28 companies, including NTT Communications, Dimension Data and NTT Security, into one $11 billion business. It will be headquartered in London.
  • A full-year loss from IMImobile.
  • The appointments of Wendy Becker as chairman of Logitech; Randall S Dearth as CEO of GCP Applied Technologies; and Gregory E Poling as executive chairman of GCP Applied Technologies (was CEO).
  • The resignations of Vinod Kumar, CEO of Tata Communications; Krishnakumar Natarajan, executive chairman of Mindtree; NS Parthasarathy, vice-chairman of Mindtree; and Rostow Ravanan, CEO of Mindtree.
  • The retirement of Ronald Cambre, chairman of GCP Applied Technologies.
  • The departure of Guerrino De Luca, chairman of Logitech.
  • A very good IPO in Mumbai by IndiaMart InterMesh, India’s largest online platform for selling products directly to businesses, which is backed by foreign investors such as Intel Capital and UK-based Amadeus Capital.

Research results and predictions

  • Worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will more than double over the 2019-2023 forecast period, according to IDC. With a five-year CAGR of 22.3%, public cloud spending will grow from $229 billion in 2019 to nearly $500 billion in 2023.
  • Spending on customer experience was reported at $97 billion in 2018 and is expected to increase to $128 billion by 2022, growing at a healthy 7% five-year CAGR, according to IDC.
  • Inkjet-printed OLED display technology is set to enter mass production next year, with capacity set to rise as much as 12-fold from 2020 to 2024, according to IHS Markit.
  • JSE All share index: Down 1.1%
  • FTSE100: Up 1.7% (highest weekend close since August 2018)
  • DAX: Up 1.4% (highest weekend close since August 2018)
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 1.2% (highest weekend close)
  • S&P 500: Up 1.7% (highest weekend close)
  • Nasdaq: Up 1.9% (all-time high reached during the week)
  • Broadcom acquiring Symantec.
  • Further developments regarding the EOH investigations.

Each year, Forbes magazine publishes its Global 2000 list of the world’s largest public companies. The list, using data from FactSet Research Systems, is an aggregate ranking across the metrics of sales, profit, assets and market value.

Some further analysis of these rankings:

  • 426: Xiaomi (highest new entry)
  • 446: (was 856)
  • 1 100: Twitter (was 1 729)
  • 1 464: Red Hat (was 1 651)
  • 1 508: Maroc Telecom (was 1 509)
  • 1 513: Xerox (was 1 538)
  • 1 587: Symantec (was 1 104)
  • 1 680: Safaricom (was 1 817)
  • 1 726: Seiko Epson (was 1 887)

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Andy Murray’s Olympic gold post box hit by car in Dunblane




Gold post box knocked downImage copyright
Bennets Butchers

The gold post box that commemorates Andy Murray’s Olympic medal win has been knocked down by a car.

It appeared a silver Mercedes rolled down the hill into the post box, according to local resident Graham Fleming, who saw the aftermath.

He added the car appeared to have just missed a group of teenagers sitting on a bench less than a metre away.

The post box, in Dunblane, was painted after the Olympic tennis champion’s singles win over Roger Federer in 2012.

Police Scotland confirmed they attended the “low speed collision” and that the female driver of the car had sustained a minor injury but did not require medical treatment.

It was unclear whether the woman was in the car at the time or not.

Image copyright
Bennet’s Butchers

Graham Fleming, the owner of Dunblane’s Bennet’s Butchers, lives next to the post box. He heard the crash from his lounge, and went to look from his window.

He told the BBC Scotland news website: “I heard a massive thud… I looked out the window and there was a load of kids there who had been sitting on the chair beside the post box.

“Literally the park bench they were sitting on was less than one metre away from post box.”

He added that he thought they would have seen the car coming and that none of the people on the pavement appeared to have been hurt.

Mr Fleming added: “A woman came down and drove the car away about a minute later… I think she was a bit embarrassed.

“She parked the car a few metres away and waited for the police.”

The tennis star’s mother Judy Murray tweeted her reaction in two words: “Oh no”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed they had been called to the scene on Dunblane’s High Street at about 19:50 and that they were making inquiries into the circumstances of the collision.

Mr Fleming added that Royal Mail had been to the scene and that they had emptied the letters from the post box.

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Trial opens for Philippine journalist critical of Duterte | News | World




High-profile Philippine journalist Maria Ressa’s libel trial opened on Tuesday in a case that she and press freedom advocates see as government retaliation for her news site’s critical reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte.

Ressa, who leads online outlet Rappler and was named a Time Magazine “Person of the Year” in 2018 for her journalism, is out on bail and faces years in prison if convicted under the criminal cyber-libel law.

The news portal has written extensively and often critically on Duterte’s policies, including his deadly drugs war that rights groups say may be a crime against humanity.

Besides the libel case, Ressa and Rappler have been hit with 10 other criminal charges over the past year, prompting allegations that authorities are targeting her and her team for their work.

“The government hopes to intimidate us by syphoning both my personal time, our resources,” Ressa, who was not in court, told AFP.

“I won’t be intimidated. We continue to do our jobs.
The mission of journalism has never been as important as it is today in the Philippines,” she added.

Tuesday’s brief hearing ended after testimony from one minor witness, with the case set to resume on July 30. 

The case centres on a Rappler report from 2012 about a businessman’s alleged ties to a then-judge of the nation’s top court.

Government investigators initially dismissed the businessman’s 2017 complaint about the article, but state prosecutors later decided to file charges.

The legal foundation of the case is a controversial “cybercrime law” aimed at online offences ranging from hacking and internet fraud to child pornography.

‘Not exempted from assassination’

Ressa, 55, argues the law did not take effect until months after the story was published.

Government lawyers say it is effectively a new article since Rappler had updated it in 2014 to fix a typographical error.

Because the law allows the filing of charges up to 12 years after libel is committed, Ressa said it will have far-ranging implications on constitutionally protected freedom of expression as well as the way Filipinos use social media.

Ressa, who has been arrested twice this year, also faces tax and corporate fraud cases, as does Rappler.

The libel case has drawn international attention, with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright expressing concern over democratic rights.

Prominent rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who joined Ressa’s legal team this month, said the case echoed a recurring theme in her work, where “journalists who expose abuses face arrest while those who commit the abuses do so with impunity”.

Duterte, who denies being behind the case, has singled out Rappler for criticism, also banning it from covering his public events and forbidding government officials from talking to Rappler reporters.

Shortly before being sworn into office in 2016, then president-elect Duterte declared: “Just because you’re a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch.”

Rights monitor Reporters Without Borders ranked the Philippines at 134 out of 178 countries on its annual “World Press Freedom” index this year, when at least three journalists were killed “most likely by agents working for local politicians”.

© Agence France-Presse


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