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Interview: UCOOK CEO David Torr

Meal-kit delivery service start-up UCOOK, which provides the ingredients to help people make high-quality homemade meals, has seen a huge spike in demand since the Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa.

CEO David Torr joins the podcast to talk about this, and why UCOOK has been deemed an essential service during the lockdown.

He also expands on the rules and procedures the company has put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and protect its employees.

Torr discusses the company's roots -- it was founded in a garage in Cape Town and now employs well over 100 people countrywide -- and how people are using the service.

Interview: Altron CEO Mteto Nyati on unbundling Bytes UK

In this episode of the podcast, Altron CEO Mteto Nyati talks to TechCentral's Duncan McLeod about the group's decision to explore the unbundling and listing of its subsidiary Bytes UK on the London Stock Exchange.
Altron announced to the market early on Friday that its board had concluded that the true value of Bytes UK, which is wholly owned the group, was not reflected in the company’s share price.
As a result, the board has decided to pursue a potential listing and share offering of Bytes UK on the London Stock Exchange; a secondary listing of Bytes UK on the JSE; and an unbundling of the remaining Altron shareholding in Bytes UK to Altron shareholders.
In the podcast, Nyati explains the rationale for the decision, including why it's chosen the unbundling option rather than a sale of the business.
Don't miss the discussion!

Sipho Maseko on Telkom's 'track-and-trace' tech in Covid-19 fight

Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko joins TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod for a discussion on the telecommunications operator's new track-and-trace technology solution designed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.
Telkom has developed the track-and-trace solution in partnership with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the CSIR to identify people who may have contracted Covid-19.
The system collates multiple data sources such as GIS data to track an infected person’s exposure and who they may have unknowingly exposed to the virus to.
This reduces the current reliance on the patient’s own recollections of who they may have exposed unknowingly and enables the CSIR to contact people who were in the same proximity as the patient.
In certain communities, the department of health will be using trackers to trace primary contacts and ensure testing for secondary contacts.
Telkom has partnered with Samsung to distribute 1 500 handsets to trackers across the country. The system will integrate the information collected by the trackers.
In the podcast, Maseko discusses the privacy implications of the track-and-trace system and why he believes it is not only necessary to combat Covid-19 but also conforms with legislation governing people's privacy.
He also talks about how the lockdown is affecting Telkom's day-to-day operations and the impact its hand on its restructuring and retrenchments programme.

Vinny Lingham on Civic, bitcoin, Covid-19 and living in San Diego

South African Internet entrepreneur and Civic CEO Vinny Lingham joins TechCentral's Duncan McLeod for a wide-ranging discussion on everything from the Covid-19 crisis to the price of bitcoin and the latest developments at his latest start-up, Civic.
The conversation starts with a discussion on the global coronavirus lockdowns and their impact, then turns to a debate about whether bitcoin really is "digital gold" given how its value collapsed in recent weeks along with other asset classes.
Lingham provides an update on Civic, and its announcement this week that the Civic Wallet is the first non-custodial crypto wallet to offer a US$1-million digital currency guarantee to its users.
He expands on the long-term vision for Civic and when the general public will be able to get their own Civic Wallet -- hint: it's soon!
Finally, Lingham provides an update on his investment activities in South Africa, including through Newtown Partners.
It's a great discussion - don't miss it!

Interview: Lenovo DCG regional director Jim Holland

In this promoted episode of the podcast, Lenovo Data Centre Group regional director for Southern Africa Jim Holland speaks to TechCentral about how enterprises in South Africa are adopting Internet of things (IoT) technologies.
The discussion, flowing from a recent roundtable with IT leaders in South Africa, begins with a discussion about Lenovo DCG, its positioning in the market and some of the solutions its bringing to both corporate users and hyperscale cloud providers.
Holland provides his views on the key insights from the roundtable and how big companies are using IoT to good effect.
He talks about some of the opportunities around IoT and the role he sees Lenovo playing as more and more of these projects get off the ground.

Interview: Gustav Praekelt on using WhatsApp to fight Covid-19

Gustav Praekelt, founder of the Praekelt Foundation, the non-profit behind the department of health's wildly successful Covid-19 WhatsApp platform, joins the podcast to talk about the service, and how it ratcheted up more than two million users in short order.
Praekelt, a technologist at heart, explains what is involved in building something of this scale, including the challenges involved, and how the organisation is using advanced machine-learning technology to power it.
The platform has since been repurposed for a Covid-19 WhatsApp service for the World Health Organisation, which has seen 10 million sign-ups in a matter of days -- and growing fast.
Don't miss the conversation.

Interview: SUSE's Grant Bennett how SA enterprises are embracing the cloud

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral is joined by SUSE country manager Grant Bennett for a discussion on cloud computing in South African enterprises.
The discussion follows a recent TechCentral and SUSE-sponsored roundtable event, where corporate IT leaders spoke about the issues around cloud that are exercising their minds.
In the podcast, Bennett explains where South African companies are in their cloud journeys relative to other countries and which industries are furthest along.
He talks about the primary drivers of conversations about the cloud in South African enterprises as well as what's holding companies from moving faster in their cloud strategies.
Is public cloud for everyone, or is there good reason in some cases to continue with an on-premise approach?
Who is driving the shift to cloud - it's not always the CIO - and what should companies bear in mind before embarking on the journey? Is it all about cost reduction, or are there other major factors at play?
Bennett discusses all of these questions, and more, including the sort of service-level agreements companies should be seeking with their cloud providers and the impact on IT skills.

Interview: SUSE country manager Grant Bennett on IoT

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral speaks to SUSE country manager Grant Bennett about the growing interest in and adoption by enterprises in South Africa of Internet of things (IoT) technologies.
The discussion, flowing from a recent roundtable with IT leaders in South Africa, begins with a discussion about how Transnet is using advanced IoT sensors on the longest train in the world, which moves between South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Previously, the train’s drivers would make periodic stops to inspect the carriages by walking down the track and physically locating problems. This process was both inefficient and, in some cases, dangerous, with drivers being subjected to bandits and crime. Bennett explains how Transnet has used IoT to solve the problem.
He also talks about how other South African enterprises, including cement giant AfriSam, after putting IoT into commercial use.
The conversation turns to SUSE’s role in IoT, its relationship with software giant SAP and the role that SAP’s in-memory database platform Hana can play in IoT implementations.
Lastly, Bennett talks about security and whether IoT data should reside on customers’ premises or in the cloud (hint: it depends on the application and the industry).
This promoted content was paid for by the party concerned.

Interview: MortgageMarket founder and CEO Tim Akinnusi

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral speaks to Tim Akinnusi, founder and CEO of, about how the fintech start-up hopes to make it easier – and more financially rewarding – to secure a home loan.

In the podcast, Akinnusi -- a former MD of Absa Home Loans and former executive head of sales & client value management and Nedbank Home Loans -- explains how MortgageMarket, which he describes as South Africa’s first online marketplace that allows consumers to compare home loan offers, works with South Africa’s biggest banks.

He explains why he quit the corporate world to launch MortgageMarket, how the platform works and how he sees it growing in the coming years.

Is it always just about the best price, or are there other factors one needs to consider when choosing a home loan provider? How long does it take compared to a normal home loan application process? And how does MortgageMarket work with real-estate agents?

There is no fee involved for home buyers and, in fact, MortgageMarket pays home buyers a guaranteed R5 000 to R25 000 – Akinnusi explains how and why in the podcast.

He also talks about the companies MortgageMarket has partnered with -- including Samsung Electronics and MTN South Africa -- and who the platform is targeted at.

Interview: Sanofi seeks SA healthtech start-ups for Afric@Tech Challenge

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral speaks to Thibault Crosnier Leconte, country chairman and GM at French pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi, about the company’s initiative to identify and support healthtech start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Sanofi is calling for South African entries to the Afric@Tech Challenge, part of the Viva Technology 2020 event in June in Paris, France, and is specifically looking for start-ups that are innovating in the area of health and medical technology. There, they will have a chance to present their inventions to global investors and tech leaders at Europe’s largest technology event.
As part of the Afric@Tech Challenge, which closes on 6 March 2020, start-ups stand a chance to not only present their technologies at Viva Tech but also gain access to an investment partnership with Sanofi.
In the podcast, Crosnier Leconte explains why Sanofi is interested in supporting South African – and African – healthtech start-ups and entrepreneurs and what those entering can expect from the challenge.
Enter the challenge here:
Sanofi at Afric@Tech comprises four challenges aimed at providing innovative and adapted solutions to improve access to medicine and healthcare in Africa. Initiated by Sanofi in all African countries, this contest will help identify, reward and accompany the best start-ups in their goal of revolutionising practices in the health sector in Africa.
Now in its third year, the event consists of four challenges, which Crosnier Leconte sets out in the podcast.
The selected projects could also benefit from financial assistance and individual support from Sanofi, through a system of coaching and mentoring.
“The four challenges are part of Sanofi’s strategy to encourage innovation in Africa. They represent a concrete way to contribute locally through the support provided to the most audacious and innovative entrepreneurs in the achievement of their projects,” says Crosnier Leconte.

Interview: Mmapula Kgari on the Sentech Connect broadband project

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral interviews Sentech chief of sales and marketing Mmapula Kgari about the company's new Sentech Connect broadband project.
The idea behind Sentech Connect is for the state-owned communications company to "play a significant role in the implementation of SA Connect’s mandate and servicing of government with wireless broadband services”. SA Connect is government’s broadband strategy plan.
“Sentech Connect will digitise health care, education and government services in underserviced and rural areas, bridging the digital divide with fast, reliable broadband connectivity,” the company said in a statement when the project was launched at the AfricaCom event in Cape Town last year.
The broadband offering ranges from bandwidth of 10Mbit/s to 100Mbit/s, allowing for the creation of smart classrooms; smart city services; smart clinics and hospitals; the Internet of things; and public safety initiatives
In the podcast, Kgari explains why Sentech has launched Sentech Connect, where the network is available, how it's being funded and the impact it hopes it will have in underserved parts of South Africa.
She also talks about the technology and radio frequency spectrum it's using and its go-to-market strategy.

Interview: Teraco CEO Jan Hnizdo

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Teraco CEO Jan Hnizdo about the data centre operator's massive expansion of its Johannesburg data centre campus.
In the podcast, Hnizdo talks about how Teraco has rapidly expanded since its founding in Cape Town 12 years ago, how continued demand, especially from cloud providers and South African enterprises outsourcing their IT, has fuelled the need for the company to expand its available space.
He also talks about the impact that Eskom's load shedding is having on Teraco, and explains why he is optimistic that South Africa's electricity supply problems will be resolved.
It's a great discussion ... don't miss it!

224 episodes

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