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New Icasa councillors to be sworn in

The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) will swear-in three new councillors on Friday. Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng will officiate over the swearing-in of Ntombizodwa Ndhlovu, William Currie and Joseph Lebooa at Icasa’s Sandton offices. The nominated candidates will replace three councillors whose terms are ending. The departing councillors are Brenda Ntombela, Robert Nkuna and Jacobus van Rooyen.

Luke McKend is new Google country manager

South African national Luke McKend, who has worked at Google in London for several years, is the company’s new SA country manager. Google announced his appointment on Thursday, concluding a search that lasted for nearly six months. McKend, who will join Google SA on 1 November, replaces Stephen Newton, who resigned from Google in April to join mobile advertising specialist InMobi.

Kelly’s Mdwaba dispute moves to arbitration

Former Kelly Group director and deputy CEO Mthunzi Mdwaba will not face a disciplinary hearing. Instead, the group has agreed to take the matter to private arbitration. A source close to Kelly and Mdwaba says the process has been anything but straightforward, adding that the disciplinary hearing, which was supposed to happen yesterday, was cancelled.

Acsa promises shorter airport queues

High-tech boarding passes introduced by the Airports Company SA (Acsa) and the airlines mean passengers will no longer have to queue for check-in as their seat is assigned at the time of booking. In a statement on Tuesday, Acsa said the system would allow passengers to make online or mobile flight ticket bookings and print their own boarding passes. “The system went live early this month for domestic flights and is working well.”

Africa’s brewing broadband boom

In the past month, news has emerged of plans to build yet more high-capacity undersea cables to wire up Africa. With the continent about to be awash in bandwidth, attention needs to shift to bringing broadband to consumers.

SA to seek investment in solar mega park

SA’s energy minister said Tuesday that the country will seek billions of dollars in investment for a 5 000MW solar park that will help shift the country toward green energy. Energy minister Dipuo Peters said the country will host an investors’ conference on 28 and 29 October in an effort to generate private-sector interest in the project, an effort to begin weaning the country off its energy mainstay, coal.

Telkom Mobile set for mid-October launch

Telkom will take the wraps off its new mobile telecommunications network in just three weeks from now, on 14 October, and in the process launch SA’s fourth cellular operator. That’s the obvious conclusion to be drawn from an invitation that the JSE-listed telecoms group issued on Tuesday, in which it has invited media and VIPs to an event at Lanseria airport, north of Johannesburg.

Cell C 3G live in Cape Town this week

Cell C will launch its new high-speed 3G network in Cape Town on Thursday, a city that has proved notoriously hard for operators to deliver wireless services. At the same time, Cell C is launching its so-called “4Gs” network in coastal city East London today (Tuesday), following the company’s introduction of broadband services in Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.

Home affairs gets IT tender deadline

The department of home affairs has less than a month to decide on a last ditch proposal presented to it by JSE-listed IT services group Gijima over the disputed “Who am I Online” technology project. Gijima CEO Jonas Bogoshi says the group now has an idea of what government’s needs are and it has presented a final proposal to the department.

Gijima on the prowl for telecoms deal

JSE-listed technology group Gijima has its sights on the local telecommunications market. It says it will either acquire or partner with a company that has its own network. CEO Jonas Bogoshi says Gijima has decided to play a more direct role in cloud computing, including hosted services and voice and data technologies.

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