Sagarmatha or virtual colonisation: It is time to set the record straight

Published 23 October 2018, by Dr Iqbal Survé

CAPE TOWN – In the week that President Ramaphosa is to host the SA Investment Conference, there are typically a number of media releases about investments in the manufacturing and mining sectors.

What South Africa needs right now is investment into the technology and services sectors. With its vast pool of unemployed young people, South Africa cannot afford to miss investing in these sectors.

This is our opportunity to skill up young people to participate in the technology revolution otherwise called the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

A few months ago, Sagarmatha Technologies was approved for listing on the JSE as the first African unicorn multi-sided platform (MSP) company.

Approval occurred after a rigorous eight-month process of engagement with the JSE. Sagarmatha was planning to raise R7.5 billion and was successful in commitments of R4bn from local and international investors.

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The hypocrisy and lies of Business Day

Published 19 October 2018, by Dr Iqbal Survé

Tiso Blackstar’s Business Day could by all accounts be considered irrelevant due to its small daily circulation of approximately 20 000 nationally.

It is therefore easy to dismiss Business Day’s rantings and media manipulation as insignificant especially when compared to the reach of Business Report (BR) in the Independent Media stable, which has more than 1.5 million daily readers.

Why then would I write this opinion piece? Well, Tiso Blackstar and its Sunday publication, Sunday Times have recently been under the spotlight, especially after its editor, Bongani Siqoko, bravely apologised for their shameful violation of the press code and media manipulation on several matters including the so-called SARS “rogue unit”.

Subsequently three prominent journalists were named, including the editor of the Financial Mail, Rob Rose, who, it has been hinted, was either paid or manipulated, to write negative stories. This manipulation and fake news presented by Sunday Times, Financial Mail and Business Day can be regarded as part of a deep rotten culture.

Evidence of Tiso Blackstar’s hypocrisy is clear to see beyond the Sunday Times’s well reported accusations and manipulations. The Steinhoff debacle, for instance, is reported but covered with kid gloves by Tiso Blackstar and Business Day.

If anything, it is reported with a deferential attitude to the individuals involved. A second example is their reporting on the South African Post Office, which in its last financial year lost R978 million. Now if the Post Office was run by a black executive it would most certainly have been headlined with article after article screaming about the incompetence of the executive in charge.

A different standard is applied to white companies as opposed to black companies.

Reporting on white companies is always qualified with an excuse, while black companies are treated with contempt, disdain and suspicion. Let’s look at Tiso Blackstar. Formerly Johnnic and Times Media Group, it proved to be a task beyond even (now President) Cyril Ramaphosa and Tokyo Sexwale to transform this business.

In the case of Mvelaphanda, these businesses cost them billions and the current management and journalists have overseen the destruction of shareholder value, including a PIC loss of R7bn a few years ago. None of this is reported on by Business Day.

Perhaps it is because, according to well-placed sources at Tiso Blackstar, white management and journalists are paid more and given bonuses at the expense of black journalists. Business Day has a particular way of portraying black executives and black companies.

As an example, for many months, Business Day ran frontpage headlines about the PIC’s CEO, Dr Dan Matjila, who was allegedly in a romantic relationship with a woman called Pretty Louw despite Dr Matjila going on record in parliament denying any relationship.

Yet Business Day journalist, Carol Paton, rehashed this repeatedly in the Goebbels tradition of propaganda, revealing her bias towards a faction that wants Matjila removed for their own nefarious purposes. The recent Budlender report found unequivocally that Dr Matjila did not have a romantic or inappropriate relationship with Ms Louw.

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AYO set to join big players in line to bid for share of 4G spectrum

Published 18 October 2018, by Banele Ginindza, Business Report

JOHANNESBURG – AYO Technology Solutions (AYO), the largest black-empowered JSE-listed ICT group in the country, yesterday looked set to join the big wireless operators in bidding for a share of the licensing of spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands when they are put on auction by the end of March.

This follows Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele last week confirming that 4G spectrum would be put on the auction block to existing telecoms wireless operators as well as black economic empowerment participants.

Cwele said the government was working on a March 31 deadline to put up the 4G spectrum on auction, while it worked towards a 5G spectrum availability by 2020.

Icasa (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) spokesperson Palesa Maleka also confirmed that various options of disposing of the 4G/LTE technology were being looked at.

Wireless carriers such as Vodacom and MTN have frequently taken the government to task for lack of the sale of spectrum, which they claim hinders their growth.

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