A market inquiry into high data costs in South Africa is on the horizon.
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel on Thursday announced he would be asking the Competition Commission to conduct the probe.
Tabling his department’s budget vote, Patel cited the Economist newspaper which published a story describing data as the world’s most valuable resource and a driver of growth and change.
“Yet the growth of this data-driven economy is constrained by high data costs, which affect users of cell-phones and laptops and businesses who require high volumes of data,” he said.
“To promote the new data-driven economy and address high data costs, and following discussion with [Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga] Minister Cwele, I will request the Competition Commission to conduct a market inquiry into this sector and to work with other regulators to establish the facts, identify measures to reduce data costs and make recommendations to government.”
The inquiry follows a public campaign against South Africa’s data costs, which according to studies, are among the highest in the world. (via African News Agency)
6 African Startups Chosen For Google’s Launchpad Accelerator
Six African startups have been selected to take part in the first African edition of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator. Four are from Nigeria, and include data collection startup Delivery Science, payments startups Flutterwave and Paystack, and mobile learning platform Gidimo.
From Kenya is the sourcing and distribution platform Foods, and South Africa-based financial services marketplace JUMO.
The programme accepts applications from late-stage tech startups in emerging markets.
Each batch of the accelerator goes through a 6 month mentorship program which starts in Mountain View, California and continues in the startups’ relative markets and selected other international locations. This includes two weeks of mentorship from the Google team, top tech companies, and VCs in Silicon Valley.
IDC facilitates R47 bln in investment – Patel
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) neared the R50 billion mark in facilitating fresh investment to businesses over the past financial year, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Thursday.
“It facilitated R47 billion of fresh investment, of which R15.3 billion is from its own funds and the rest from private investor partners. This is the largest yet in its history,” Patel said while tabling his department’s budget vote in Parliament.
The investments included R4.7 billion to 77 black industrialists – a 60 percent increase on the 2015/16 financial year, while black-empowered companies received R10.8 billion.
Investment in youth managed businesses doubled to R2.4 billion, while investments in companies benefiting women “grew sharply by 178 percent to R3.2 billion”.
Patel said these investments led to 20,877 jobs being created. (via African News Agency)