Today’s Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (4 September)

Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (4 September)

SA Meter Taxi Association And YooKoo Ride Ready To Take On Uber

The SA Meter Taxi Association — which has been unhappy about growing competition from ride-sharing app, Uber — on Thursday said it had began registering drivers who will use YooKoo Ride, which it described as a “taxi hailing app for smart phones”.

The move indicates a shift from physical confrontations between metered taxi drivers, who are losing market share, and Uber. In July an Uber driver died from his injuries after his car was set alight near Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria.

The SA Meter Taxi Association, which has persistently denied any involvement in the attacks on Uber drivers, said the driver registration process marks the first stage of the rollout that will lead to the creation of the largest taxi hailing service in South Africa.

It estimated that more than 180,000 vehicles would partner with YooKoo Ride.

In a statement the taxi association said, without mentioning Uber, that the “taxi hailing” market in South Africa was “dominated by overseas-based companies who are unregulated”.

“We have agreed as an association that we need to embrace technology that would make it simpler for our customers to use our services,” said Taxi Association spokesman Reuben Mzayiya.

In March, the taxi association and YooKoo Ride announced their partnership, which they said will see South African meter taxi companies using the YooKoo Ride cab hailing technology, developed locally.

Mzayiya said cab companies had already been identified for registration and they were starting to come on line.

The registration will include comprehensive driver vetting and criminal checks complete with fingerprint technology to ensure optimum security and ease of mind for customers. A comprehensive customer relations and driver training programme will follow.

“We want to assure our customers that we are committed to providing the safest and most reliable offering in the market. With the benefit of being part of a large and regulated association we believe that this will serve to the customer’s advantage. No other service providers can match our offering,” said Mzayiya.

YooKoo Technologies MD Temesgen Tesfay said: “We have been testing the software for the best part of three months and we are confident that users will be most impressed with its functionality.

“It is also easy to use for drivers, allowing for seamless communication between passenger and driver. We believe that it is just the ingredient to assist the meter cab industry to play an important role in SA’s commuter transportation industry.” (via African News Agency)

SA Companies To Participate In World Food Moscow Exhibition

As many as 20 South African companies from the agro-processing industry will next week exhibit their products at the World Food Moscow 2017 Mockba in Russia.

The SA Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said the five-day exhibition will begin on Monday, 11 September.

The annual event is an ideal platform for South African companies to showcase the country’s products to a significant number of wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and restaurateurs.

SA dti minister, DR. Rob Davies, said the objective of the South African participation in the exhibition was to promote South Africa’s agro-processing industry. The move is aimed at consolidating and establishing a market presence of South African companies in Russia.

The popularity and reputation of the World Food Moscow trade fair have grown significantly over the last 20 years.

“The fair has grown to become a major meeting place for the food and drinks industry and a vibrant source of products for the Russian market. This provides an opportunity for increasing export sales from the South African agri-food industry, food retail, institutional, and commercial catering,” Davies said.

Total trade between South Africa and Russia increased from R5 billion in 2012 to almost R8 billion in 2016. Major South African exports include fruits, nuts, beverages, wine, spirits, vinegar as well as manganese ores, electrical machinery, and equipment.

The participation of the SA companies in the exhibition has been made possible by the dti through its export marketing and investment assistance. (via African News Agency)

MTN Announces The Winners In The MTN Women in ICT – Partnership For Change Awards

The curtain came down for the 2017 chapter of the MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards when MTN, and its partners, conferred a string of accolades to shortlisted candidates at a gala event held in Johannesburg on 31 August 2017.

This was the second year that MTN, in partnership with Kagiso Media’s Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio, as well as ITWeb’s Brainstorm, hosted the Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards. This annual initiative seeks to accelerate women’s participation in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector by celebrating and rewarding women professionals who have made a significant contribution towards the growth and development of the sector.

In doing so, this initiative aims to encourage girl children and young aspirant female professionals to consider a profession in the industry as a viable career option and enhance the industry’s employer value proposition.

A 20 member panel of judges shortlisted three nominees in various categories, and the winners at the gala event were:

Leadership Recognition Award: recognised a senior female executive in the ICT sector whose proven depth of experience in leading change, influencing business outcomes and leading teams positively impacted on the organisation she leads. The winner is this category was Carol Thomas, Chief Information Officer of the South African Civil Aviation Authority.

Innovator Recognition Award: recognised a woman who has introduced new methods, ideas, or products that are contributing in one way or the other to the delivery of a bold, new, digital world.The winner in this category was Rene Pearson. Pearson is the Technical Director at Aurecon.

SME Recognition Award: recognised a woman entrepreneur responsible for a wholly-owned, women-run enterprise that is a viable business making inroads in the ICT sector.  Nominations in this category were also extended to MTN employees who run businesses on the side, using ICT to enable her business.

The winner in this category was Matau Ramapuputla. She is the CEO of Moepi Publishing, which publishes children’s picture e-books. These books are available in South Africa and in libraries across the United States.

Community Builder Recognition Award: recognised a woman who has made a considerable difference in her community through ICT, or use of an ICT tool to make a difference in the community.

The winner is this category was Martine Schaffer. She is the founder of The Click Foundation, a non-profit organisation that utilises technology to facilitate basic education for learners. The Click Foundation has managed to create 125 job opportunities.

Lifetime Achiever Recognition Award (Women Pioneer): recognised a woman who has longstanding success in the ICT industry, has demonstrated a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit, and has continually stayed ahead of the curve.

The winner is this category was Dr HF Swanepoel, Chief Technologist at Eskom Group’s Technology Engineering Division.

Excellence in ICT Journalism Award: this category recognised a journalist who has contributed immensely to creating a better understanding of the ICT industry through her reporting.

This category had joint-winners – Paula Gilbert and Simnikiwe Mzekandaba.

Gilbert is the Telecoms Editor at ITWebMzekandaba is the IT in Government Editor at ITWeb.

CEO’s Award: this award recognised a MTN employee who has made a difference within the organisation with the use of ICT and technology.

Fatima Mayet was named the winner in recognition of the role she has played in using the power of technology to address some of the challenges facing MTN. She is credited with automating the employee on-boarding and termination process.

Ministerial Recognition Award: This category gave the Minister of Communications, Ayanda Dlodlo, the opportunity to use her discretion to nominate a female ICT professional whose contribution has helped to bridge the digital divide and facilitate access to telecommunication services.

Charmaine Houvet was named the winner in this category.  She has more than 24 years’ telecommunications experience working in the private and public sector across the continent. Since 2016, Charmaine has worked at Cisco as a Senior Executive in diverse and transformative roles.

nav» Car Showcases At The 2017 SA Festival Of Motoring

Launched in June 2017, nav» Car in collaboration with WesBank has taken FNBs innovative digital offering to another level. Introduced on the FNB App – the solution assists customers with their car maintenance needs to help make their lives easier.

“Since the launch we have seen a considerable take up on the nav» Car features via the FNB Banking App,” Not only does the nav» Car solution makes navigating the roads much easier, but it also helps customers manage their vehicle needs at the palm of their hands,” says nav›› Chief Imagineer (CEO), Jolandé Duvenage.

“Car owners have taken advantage of the nav» Car solution as it has made road navigation and vehicle maintenance much easier. This solution enables access to a range of features and solutions namely free vehicle licence renewal reminders, seamless vehicle licence renewal with delivery to your door, on the go fine shortcuts, quick and easy garage management with a free instant car value estimate, access to important car specs and the On road PROTECT bundle* which offers an added range of services,” adds Duvenage.

“nav» Car from FNB is a helpful innovation that helps make our driving experience easier and simpler. Combined with daily banking experiences, nav» Car helps customers get the best out of their banking and lifestyle offerings,” concludes Duvenage.

nav» Car from FNB showcased at the 2017 SA Festival of Motoring from the 1st – 3rd September at the Kyalami Grand Prix.

Petrol Price To Rise By 67c/l From September 6

The price of all grades of petrol will increase by 67c/l with effect from midnight on September 5, the energy department said on Sunday.

The price of diesel, both 0.05 percent sulphur and 0.005 percent sulphur, would increase by 44.00c/l, the department said in a statement.

The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin would increase by 49c/l, and the single maximum national retail price (SMNRP) by 65c/l. The maximum LPGas retail price would increase by 86c/kg.

The department said the main reasons for the fuel price adjustments were that the rand depreciated, on average, against the US dollar during the period under review, and that the international prices of petroleum products increased on average during the same time. (via African News Agency)

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