Critics have called for a restructuring of the Universal Service Agency (USA) following the resignation of CEO Sam Gulube this week, citing the Department of Communications parastatalâ€™s inability to deliver affordable communication to under-serviced areas.
The Government is set to kick gas-guzzling cars into touch with widespread reforms aimed at promoting fuel economy and reducing emissions. The new measures are in line with international best practice where fuel economy and emissions labelling on every car is compulsory.
The charge sheet implicating five businessmen in a R213-million pension-fund fraud details an elaborate scheme aimed at profiteering from surplus money generated by the funds. Four businessmen were arrested last month in a criminal case relating to that being brought against Australian Peter Ghavalas, who was arrested in September last year.
The government's war against excessive pricing moved into the area of telephone call charges recently, with regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) putting the spotlight on how so-called interconnect fees raise both landline and mobile costs. Mobile call costs could be slashed by 30% if Icasa wins its battle with landline and mobile operators, according to an independent expert.
Global positioning systems units in South Africa are retailing for twice as much as they sell for in the United States, bringing into question the markup on the latest technologies that are imported into South Africa. A Garmin E-trex Yellow GPS unit retails in the US for about $100 (R617).
The government talks the talk; Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in a briefing at Parliament announced that cheaper broadband was a pillar of its growth strategy. But it is walking the walk too; soon-to-be promulgated legislation taking on Telkom's SAT-3 monopoly will declare any exclusivity provision contained in licence agreements invalid.
A local high-tech company has scooped a $14-million deal to import 400 fuel-cell units, a revolutionary technology that could change the face of power supply in South Africa. The United States-manufactured units use a chemical reaction between hydrogen, oxygen and a catalyst to create energy with water as a by-product.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for South African consumers who are frustrated by excessively high broadband Internet costs and having to wait months for their service to be connected. New draft regulations published this week by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa are set to shake up broadband service delivery.
The City of Johannesburg is saving millions of rands through the use of its own high-speed wireless telecommunication network, which connects more than 500 municipal buildings. So dramatic are the cost savings that the capital costs of establishing the network have been paid in just three months.
The next time you are sitting in one of Johannesburg's regular traffic jams, look around and imagine how much quicker it would be if one in every two vehicles was not there. In the past five years, the number of cars on Gauteng's roads has almost doubled. At the end of July this year Gauteng had almost three million registered vehicles, up from 1,6-million in 2000.
After 15 years of living in the city, Gcina Mahlatashana says his three months at the new Brickfields residential complex in Newtown has been his best inner-city-living experience yet. "In comparison to the buildings I have experienced living in, this is much better," he says, staring out across the Brickfields car park. The <i>M&G</i> investigates the various options available to those who are keen on inner-city living.
Details of how three senior Saambou officials set up elaborate operations involving a string of companies that received payments and loans to buy shares and improve Saambou's capital position are contained in the charge sheet against the three. These transactions were initiated after Saambou was unable to secure funding in the marketplace to cover bad debts.