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All posts tagged "South Africa"

  • Uber basks in phenomenal SA growth

    On-demand driving service Uber has seen phenomenal growth since launching in South Africa in 2013. The Silicon Valley startup has been taking the world by storm since 2011, but its growth in South Africa has been faster than many other countries. This is according to Regional General Manager of Uber in Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits. "In a short space of time, we're doing tens of thousands of trips per day, with thousands of drivers on our system. South Africa is a really great example of Uber’s growth in a marketplace. In 2014 we helped facilitate more than one million trips and doubled...

  • No plans for SA Gigafactory: Tesla confirms

    As much as South Africans would like to see their electricity woes disappear with the construction of a lithium-ion battery factory, it's unlikely to happen anytime soon. In fact, contrary to recent reports, Tesla Motors has confirmed to Memeburn that it is not planning to build a Gigafactory in the Western Cape. The speculation-turned-fact comes after it was revealed that the major US-based electricity car and battery manufacturer has appointed South African Evan Rice as the regional business development manager. Tesla is rapidly scaling its operations with hundreds of vacancies available around the world. Rice, who is ex-CEO of non-profit GreenCape,...

  • Programme fosters pool of tech talent to address SA unemployment

    Nomusa Sithole has a diploma, but struggled to secure a job in the field she studied for. She ended up working at a restaurant for several months which she didn't like. She was overqualified and underpaid. This all changed after Sithole heard about CapaCiTi, which is a tech skills development and placement initiative in Cape Town. She ended up joining an Advanced Java Programming Certification Programme and managed to find a permanent job in the field she enjoys. Sithole is one of over 500 previously unemployed youth who CapaCiTi has trained since the programme was first launched as a pilot...

  • #ZumaMustFall: South Africans voice concern, frustration after Nene axing

    Twitter is filled with tweets voicing people's concern and frustration over South Africa's future. This comes after the surprise announcement by President Jacob Zuma in sacking the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene. As the trend goes these days, many South Africans used the hashtag #ZumaMustFall to direct their anger and shock towards their president. According to Curator, over 18 500 tweets with the hashtag #ZumaMustFall has been sent over the last 24 hours. As the tweet count for #ZumaMustFall spiked, so did the dollar-to-rand exchange rate. The rand's value dropped from its already weak R14.89 to R15.13 against the US dollar. At...

  • YouTube finally launches offline video feature in South Africa

    The world's largest online video platform boasts over a billion users watching hundreds of millions of hours everyday. Countries with limited data connectivity however are still largely untapped markets. To help remedy this, YouTube launched its offline feature in South Africa today at AfricaCom 2015. Using the YouTube app, this would enable people to save clips of cats getting vacuumed or epic documentaries onto their mobile devices. Saved videos can then be played back without an internet connection for up to 48 hours. The feature has been available in India, Indonesia and the Philippines since last year and was introduced in...

  • 10 of Africa’s most innovative apps of 2015 you should know about

    Pan-African competition AppsAfrica has concluded earlier this week, announcing the continent's ten most innovative mobile applications of 2015. With entries stretching from Nigeria to Togo and South Africa, the awards recognised a variety of platforms, that include live video and radio streaming to e-readers and many more. "Our mission is always to promote and honour the fantastic innovation across the mobile and tech ecosystem in Africa," AppsAfrica wrote in a blogpost. "We had diverse entries from 21 countries and both the finalists and winners are a testament to how technology is being used to disrupt business models, empower people and drive...

  • SAVCA CEO: we need to be ‘realistic’ about SA’s growing VC sector [Q&A]

    Venture capital is on the rise in South Africa. According to a recent survey by Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) this year’s total assets under management presents nearly R2-billion (R1.87-billion), with the total value of deals struck valued at R865-million. While these figures are likely to put a smile on stakeholders’ faces, there’s a lot yet to be done to fast-track this sector and ultimately become globally competitive and uplift socio-economic conditions. Some obstacles in the ecosystem continue to persist, including the inability to establish constructive dialogue between entrepreneurs and fund managers, implement forward-thinking government policy...

  • FNB Business Innovation Awards 2016 open for entries

    Entries for the FNB Business Innovation Awards for 2016 are now open. Supported by entrepreneur support organisation Endeavor South Africa and a second year running, the competition seeks to accelerate the country's successful and innovative businesses with the highest potential to grow onto the world stage. "The FNB Business Innovation Awards give these businesses a chance to unleash their full potential by demonstrating real innovation and changing the way an industry operates locally and/or internationally," said Mike Vacy-Lyle, the CEO of FNB Business, in a recent press release. "Endeavor’s extensive experience in working with high-impact businesses is perfectly complemented by FNB’s commitment...

  • Majority of Facebook users in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria connect to small businesses

    The majority of Facebook users in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria use the platform to connect with small businesses. This is according to new statistics released by the social networking giant, which revealed that 63% of Kenya's Facebook users connect to SMEs, 61% in South Africa and 54% in Nigeria. By introducing new features to Facebook Pages over the last few months, the California-based company is hoping to further drive customer-to-business engagement on its platform. "With more than a billion people visiting Pages on Facebook every month, Pages are the best place for businesses, and in particular small businesses, to...

  • The not-so-obvious reasons for South Africa’s entrepreneurship dilemma

    Many entrepreneurs need assistance in areas overlooked by some established companies and enterprise development agencies. Established businesses therefore have a vital role to play in increasing enterprise development in southern Africa through encouraging and nurturing the creative thinkers within their own companies as well as external startups.

  • Julius Akinyemi: Africa needs to harness big data to really innovate

    Africa needs to start using big data to solve its issues. But before this can happen, it needs to understand how to leverage this data to its advantage. That's the word from Massachusetts Institute of Technology-based thought leader Julius Akinyemi, who today spoke about the importance of harnessing big data on the African continent at the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town. Akinyemi's recently also cut the ribbon to introduce the continent’s latest tech cluster for innovation, Workshop17, of which he is a co-founder. Apart from pointing out the importance of collaboration and communities, Akinyemi spoke about the need to for...

  • Why South Africa really needs to embrace the Maker Movement

    "More so than any other time, we are able to make things that can actually make a difference," Steve Sherman, the CEO of Living Maths and self-proclaimed maker said at the recent Cape Town Maker Conference. Thanks to the internet, people today have access to more information than ever before. And thanks to things like micro computers, 3D printers, and accessible programming languages people can make more, experiment more and become more self-sufficient. Concepts like crowdfunding, for instance, enable people to finance and share their passions more easily. More than 200 000 people recently pledged nearly US$9-million to bring a...

  • #StrongerthantheRand: 19 tweets that accurately describe South Africa’s falling currency

    The strength of South Africa’s Rand has become a hot topic of late -- more so than usual. Over the weekend the ZAR weakened to over R20 to the UK pound. Right now it costs South Africans over R13 to the US dollar and R15 to the Euro. It might not be the right time to plan that overseas vacation. Twitter is a unique entity: it allows a number of people to not only rant and rave about problems in the country, but also some together and comment on them in real-time.  In true South African fashion, someone has created the hashtag...

  • Bic SA #HappyWomensDay poster stirs up social media, misses the point

    Probably one of the most renowned brands in the niche world of ballpoint pens, Bic is the latest company to cause a stir on social media. Its social media shoutout to #HappyWomensDay just backfired after it tweeted a poster with a controversial quote. The Bic-branded image is of a stock imaged young professional women with the following tagline: "Look like a girl, Act like a lady, Think like a man, Work like a boss." Needless to say, this sentiment didn't go unnoticed and the brand was at the end of an immediate backlash. After deleting the tweet and removing the Facebook post,...

  • Tech4Africa Cape Town to explore ‘rise of the underdog’

    Tech4Africa has announced the speaker line-up for its Cape Town event, which takes place on 6 August. Among the speakers are local entrepreneur Nic Haralambous, who'll share his story of selling a mobile startup to building an online shopping company selling socks as well as South African hockey legend Steve Evans, who'll be talking about the “Underdog mentality” and what it takes to bring down Giants. Memeburn Publisher Matthew Buckland will meanwhile talk about rethinking media in the content marketing era. Matty Cohen, who's head of product at WooThemes, will chat about South Africa's WooCommerce journey, which sold...