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‘Digital divide will isolate poor South Africans from 4th Industrial Revolution’
30 May 2019, 9:29 PM


Digital industry leaders are calling for increased access to the Internet across all sectors of society.

Speaking at the IAB Summit19 held at the Johannesburg Theatre, CEO of Project Isizwe, Dudu Mkhwanazi says data has become an essential service for every South African.

She says the high data costs in the country rob the majority of South Africans their right to access and ability to partake in digital economy.

Mkhwanazi says every South African home need to be connected in the next 10 years, otherwise the 4th Industrial Revolution will only benefit the wealthy minority and cause greater inequality.

According to Mkhwanazi, the country’s 7.5 million lower-income earners are paying 80 times more for Internet access than their rich counterparts.  “Only 10% of South African homes have fixed affordable Internet,” she says.

Mkhwanazi believes it’s every South Africa’s responsibility to bridge the digital divide.

A charge supported by Accenture Digital South Africa’s Wayne Hull.

Hull says digital transformation is critical to improve not only businesses but also the lives of South Africans.

“Digital Transformation could change South Africa forever. It could unlock R5 trillion of value in the country in the next decade.”

Hull says coding skills are future jobs.

The man dubbed, Rebel with a Cause and Mkhwanazi  say while it is important for infrastructure to be built to ensure Internet access for all, the public also has a duty to ensure this becomes a reality.

“Digital Transformation will improve health outcomes and create jobs. It must start at an early age with children being taught coding skills even at home,” says Hull.

The head of social media at Joe Public Connect Kalibree Kamore says lack of access is delaying innovation the country could be experiencing.

She was part of a panel discussing how digital companies can balance the power the space offers.

They believe this could be done through ethical leadership, transparency on how consumer data is being used as well as educating customers on the space they are using.

Content manager and diversity advocate, Kirigo Kamore says digital literacy is needed for responsible usage of the power of digital media. She’s hailed government for its role in ensuring this and says brands should also play their part in educating customers on what online privacy means.

“We’ve seen instances where customers have said they want privacy yet expose their children online.”

Brand strategist, Dali Tembo says government should enforce its data policy to keep companies on the straight and narrow.

“Brands should protect their customers. They should be transparent on what they use customer data for. They should also test the security aspect of applications before testing them on users and offenders should be blacklisted.”

Speakers also touched on what the private sector can do to adapt to the digital age as well as create valuable experiences for users. Items showing how digital technologies can change the world were also showcased.









Transformation through digital under spotlight
30 May 2019, 9:33 AM

Digital heads have gathered at the Johannesburg Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, for the  2019 IAB Summit.

The conference, now in its fifth year, is an annual event where industry players network and discuss where digital innovation is headed in the country.

This year’s theme is: The New Now. Transformation through the power of digital.

IAB Summit is an annual event, which is now in its fifth year.

Youth participation in digital and using online tools to empower underprivileged communities will be some of the topics to be discussed on Thursday.

CEO of non-profit Organization Project Isizwe, Dudu Mkhwanazi, says she will be discussing the importance of bridging the digital divide and its impact on the country’s socio-economic growth.

Her organisation advocates for free internet access for every South African within walking distance in low-income communities.

Ramaphosa’s journey to the highest office
24 May 2019, 3:04 PM


While South Africans wait with bated breath for the announcement of the country’s new national executive, 22 May 2019 was no doubt a watershed moment for South Africa’s newly democratically-elected President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Although he’s been the country’s number one for more than a year now – Saturday will be his first inauguration.

He had occupied the Presidency through unorthodox means, which some political pundits have referred to as unlawful. Ramaphosa was whisked into the Presidency after the ANC recalled Jacob Zuma amid growing public pressure for him to leave office.

Those who took issue with him taking over the Presidency of the Republic, branded it “unlawful” as Parliament elects the President not the ANC.

Ramaphosa spent most of his time as the country’s first citizen trying to unify the faction-riddled governing ANC, restore public trust in the country’s institutions; woo back investors and calm racial tensions.

It seems it is a path he will continue along after he is inaugurated on May 25. His address on Wednesday night after Parliamentarians unanimously elected him as President pointed to that direction. He spoke of a united, thriving country for all South Africans – with strong public institutions.

The 66-year-old’s election, sealed with a standing ovation from his comrades, will certainly go down as a moment to remember for the former trade unionist who has promised to ensure social justice just like he did in the 80s, while still in the trenches fighting for the rights of mineworkers.

Watch Ramaphosa’s speech after being elected as the country’s President in the National Assembly: 

Long time in the making

It’s taken Ramaphosa at least 19 years to get where he is today. He is the only South African President to have been in politics, left active activism for business and returned to lead the country.

Ramaphosa was born to a police sergeant father and a domestic worker mother in Soweto on 17 November, 1952. He took up political activism while studying law at the University of Limpopo (Turfloop) in 1972. He was arrested twice under the Terrorism Act in 1974 and 1976, respectively, for his political activities.

The ANC president is one of the founding fathers of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and became its first Secretary in 1982. Nine years later – he beat African National Congress (ANC) heavyweight, Alfred Nzo to become the party’s Secretary General.

Ramaphosa was one of the key negotiators during talks that led to the formation of a democratic South Africa, Convention for Democratic South Africa (Codesa). He is credited with getting all parties back to the negotiation table after talks reached a snag in 1992 following disagreements on majority rule and power sharing.

He also led the committee that coordinated rallies and all other activities that followed Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990. A youthful Ramaphosa flanked the late statesman during his first public appearance after spending 27 years at Robben Island.

Script gone wrong

While he was tipped to deputise Mandela after the first democratic polls in 1994, things didn’t go according to script when the time came. Madiba chose Oliver Tambo’s understudy, Thabo Mbeki, instead. Mbeki had apparently been anointed to the throne by ANC leaders, while Ramaphosa was Madiba’s choice.

He, however, became a Member of Parliament (MP) and was later tasked with leading the Constitutional Assembly- a group that drafted the country’s Constitution. Mandela once described Ramaphosa as one of the most gifted leaders of the “new generation” and an accomplished negotiator.

He withdrew from active political life in 1997, but remained in the National Executive Committee of the ANC. In 2001, Ramaphosa was accused of being involved in a plot to oust Mbeki. He, however, did not entertain the claims and continued building his business empire, which includes McDonald’s South Africa.

The Marikana massacre somehow blotted his largely squeaky clean business and political image. Ramaphosa was a non-executive director at Lonmin mine near Rustenburg when police killed 34 miners and injured 78 others during a wage strike. A day before police sprayed bullets on the miners, Ramaphosa had asked for ‘concomitant action’ to be taken against the workers, who were demanding to be paid R12 500 per month. The President has since expressed regret over the tragedy, saying he wants to play a role in the healing and atonement of Marikana.

Ramaphosa returned to active politics in 2014 after being elected as the Deputy President of South Africa. In 2017, the father of four – narrowly won the ANC presidency, beating Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to the post. He replaced Zuma in February 2018 after he was recalled.

His Presidency comes after a nine-year scandal-ridden Zuma administration, which saw ANC traditional supporters boycotting the 2016 municipal elections and a plummeting image internationally – a far cry from a once illustrious image South Africa had during Mandela and Mbeki’s tenures.

While it has brought hope for many, with some hailing him as a man of action with a political will to steer the country into the right direction, others are skeptical that the man Mandela had preferred to take the baton over from him will be able to take South Africa out of the deep hole of corruption, patronage and racial divisions that she finds herself in.

Watch political leaders messages to Ramaphosa as he gears up to lead the country for the next five years:

Watch another related video:

ANCYL chairperson in KwaZulu Natal Kwazi Mshengu at the Moses Mabhida stadium during the ANC's manifesto launch.
Court reserves judgment in Zuma case
24 May 2019, 12:35 PM

Judgment has been reserved in former President Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial.

Zuma and co-accused French arms company Thales want the fraud and corruption charges against them dropped.

The former President is accusing the state of prejudice and says the delays in prosecuting him for his alleged corrupt role in the country’s 1999 multi-billion rand arms deal has caused severe harm to his reputation.

However, the State believes continuing with the trial is in the public’s best interest and a stay in prosecution would threaten the rule of law. It wants the Pietermaritzburg High Court to dismiss Zuma and Thales application with costs.

Don’t allow political meddling in Zuma case: ANCYL KZN

Earlier on Friday, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in KwaZulu-Natal urged judges presiding over the Zuma case not to allow political meddling to go unheeded in the administration of justice.

Provincial Youth League Secretary Kwazi Mshengu was speaking outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Mshengu raised concerns over the delays in the Zuma matter, which he blames on the State.

He says the Youth League will always support Zuma because the ANC’s youth wing believes the former president’s case is politically motivated.

“We have been with him throughout the journey it really been years. We are here yet again to give him the support and we are hoping that we are really coming to the end if this painful chapter. There has always been police meddling on this case. The concession made by the State has proved beyond reasonable doubt that this case had been politically managed and basically informed in terms of timing. We believe the judges will not allow political meddling take precedence over just. Zuma enjoys all Constitutional right as accorded by the Constitution to all citizens.”

The charges against Zuma and Thales were reinstated in 2018, after being struck off the roll in 2006 – reinstated in 2007 and withdrawn against in 2009.

Watch Zuma addressing supporters outside court:

Watch arguments in court:

Sean Davison
Right-to-die activist’s case moved to a higher court
24 May 2019, 12:33 PM

Founder of Dignity SA, Sean Davison’s case of premeditated murder has been transferred to the High Court for a pretrial hearing.

Davison, whose organisation promotes the right to die, made a brief appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court  on Friday. He is facing three counts of premeditated murder for allegedly administering lethal amounts of drugs that killed three men between 2013 and 2015 in Cape Town.

The State alleges that the 58-year-old academic assisted in the suicide of his friend Anrich Burger, who had become paralysed after a car crash. It also accuses him of having a hand in the death of Justin Varian, who suffered from a motor neuron disease.

According to the charge sheet, Davison had placed a bag filled with helium over Varian’s head to suffocate him. He is also alleged to have administered lethal drugs to Richard Holland, a triathlete who had been paralysed after a cycling accident.

The case has been postponed to June 19, 2019.

Davison first made headlines in 2010 after he was arrested in New Zealand for assisting his 85-year-old mother, who was a cancer patient, to die in 2006.

He admitted to inciting and helping his mother to commit suicide and was sentenced to five months house arrest in 2011.

He served the sentence at a Dunedin home of a close friend’s brother and returned to South Africa afterwards.

He is a professor of biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape.



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