South Africa’s debt level is the highest it has ever been, which is fuelled by big government salary increases and higher prices because of BEE.

South Africa’s debt level is the highest it has ever been and with a looming ratings downgrade, which will result in higher interest on this debt, the country is facing a very tough financial situation.

One of the measures which shows South Africa’s economic problem is Debt-to-GDP – a ratio between government debt and its gross domestic product (an estimate of the size of the economy).

A low Debt-to-GDP ratio represents an economy that “produces and sells goods and services sufficient to pay back debts without incurring further debt”.

In South Africa, the opposite is happening. Economic growth has slowed to just above 0% and government spending is increasing all the time.

South Africa was making excellent progress under former president Thabo Mbeki, but then the financial crisis hit and Jacob Zuma became president.

Economist Mike Schussler from explained that first the Debt-to-GDP increased as South Africa needed spending from the government to stabilise the economy during the 2008/9 recession.

However, the government just continued to spend. This included employing at least 20% more public servants who received salary increases far beyond inflation.

“We also had public works programmes and we had extra spending on social grants. We can also add the higher prices for goods because of BEE requirements,” he said.

These aspects increased South Africa’s debt levels to record highs and continue to drive up the country’s Debt-to-GDP ratio. This trend is of concern, said Schussler.

Unless the South African go

mmm’;”vernment cuts spending and encourages economic growth, this trend will continue and lead to a ratings downgrade.


The LG has finally embraced metal for LG G5

After a series of plastic flagship phones, LG has finally embraced metal for the LG G5 and the result is a much classier handset than we’ve seen before.

But all that beauty comes at a cost, as the LG G5 is far more prone to nicks and scrapes than previous models, and you’ll certainly fret that little bit more should your handset take a spill.

Fortunately, you don’t have to look around too much to find a high quality case for your LG G5. Whether you’re after something robust and utilitarian or as sleek and stylish as the phone itself, there’s something out there for everyone.


Colors: Black, Pink


LG’s official Quick Cover tends to get all the attention, but it also has the lesser-known (and seemingly less widely available) Crystal Guard Case on its roster.

The Crystal Guard is a lot less flashy, but if you’re the sort of person who wants your phone’s natural design to shine through, it could be for you. It’s a very simple, pink or black-tinted case that fits snugly around the rear and sides of the LG G5.

You can’t get any more tailored than a case from the device manufacturer itself, and the LG Crystal Guard Case fits just like that proverbial glove.

How to Protect ALL Your Photos and Videos

If you’re like most Gen-Xers or Baby Boomers, you’ve got more than a few photos and videos from family vacations and special moments saved on your computer (or multiple computers), right?

So what would you do if your computer crashed, got lost or stolen? Think about your hundreds, even thousands, of precious memories, those once-in-a-lifetime photos and videos with friends and family – GONE! Just like that.

That is why this amazing new, super affordable device is absolutely heaven sent! It’s the ONLY product of its kind that makes saving up to 60,000 photos and videos painless, and completely hassle free!

What is It?

It’s a small thumb drive called The Photo Stick. And if you want to backup and save your priceless photos and videos WITHOUT the time consuming frustration of searching, saving and organizing them all yourself, this powerful little guy is exactly what you need!

How Does it Work?


The Photo Stick instantly scans every inch of your computer, searches through every file and folder for your photos and videos. Then it automatically copies and backs up all your photos and videos to ThePhotoStick. Memory lane is now safe and secure!



Technology “accelerator” Sw7 has announced plans to open an “innovation hub” and co-working space in Johannesburg.

Technology “accelerator” Sw7 has announced plans to open an “innovation hub” and co-working space in Johannesburg. The @Sw7 Workspace will be the first such space to open in the north of the city, according to its backers.

@Sw7 Workspace will offer flexible packages, initially catering to about 100 members, it said.

“We felt there was quite a gap in the market to create a dedicated independent hub to support the tech community and to give them a base from which to work,” said Sw7 co-founder Keith Jones.

The company is promising a fibre Internet connection, printing facilities and secure parking.

“The focus is on offering technology businesses a great place to work which is competitively priced and which offers a strong network through the Sw7 community and the incubators and accelerators with whom we work.”

The space opens for business on 1 November and offers flexible part-time membership to full membership with dedicated desks and meeting rooms catering for groups of six through to 100.

The idea, Jones said, is that entrepreneurs can use the space to network with likeminded people who are grappling with similar challenges.

“The ideal community member would be a software product business that is post-revenue or funded with between one and 10 staff members. Our goal is to connect these businesses with the commercial markets.”

 NewsCentral Media

BlackBerry unveils last smartphone before calling it quits

Toronto – BlackBerry Ltd. showed off the last phone it will market itself before completely outsourcing design, production and distribution to partners: A 5.5-inch touchscreen device that rivals the size of the iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL, but at a lower price.

Rest in Peace BlackBerry

It’s geared toward companies and government departments that don’t want their employees using personal phones for sensitive work business.

BlackBerry has been winding down its shrinking smartphone unit ever since Chief Executive Officer John Chen took over three years ago and began focusing more on software.

Last month, BlackBerry said it would completely stop designing its phones and instead license out the BlackBerry brand to other manufacturers.

“This phone is somewhat of a bridge to that world,” Chief Operating Officer Marty Beard said in a phone interview.

BlackBerry unveils new Android device

With future phones, BlackBerry won’t hold inventory or sell the devices itself.

The DTEK60 is available now on and at BlackBerry’s website.

It retails in the U.S. for $499. Aside from the larger screen, other upgrades from the DTEK50 include a higher-megapixel camera, new fingerprint sensor and a memory card slot.

BlackBerry is still working on forging licensing deals with other manufacturers and so far only has an agreement with an Indonesian telecommunications consortium to build BlackBerry-branded phones.

Last month, Chen said he was working on other deals in China and India.

What now for BlackBerry as it dumps phones?

The licensing agreements could extend beyond phones though, Beard said.

The company has been talking up the potential for its security software to protect any device that communicates through the internet, and began selling a truck-tracking gadget in September.

It’s possible that soon you could see similar devices built and sold by other companies, but running BlackBerry’s software and carrying its brand, Beard said.

“We’re not restricting ourselves to just phones,” he said.

“There are other segments that are interesting and where both our management capability and our security capability and our software – which is great – would be useful,” Beard added.

(by fin24)

What you need to know about Skype for Business

Skype wants more businesses to use it’s platform for business. Launched last year, Skype for Business is a VoIP enterprise solution integrated into Microsoft’s Office 365 software.

The cloud business phone system incorporates audio, video, content sharing and messaging service with an emphasis on flexibility, integration and collaboration.

Skype for Business Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft South Africa, Chantal De Menezes says one of the solution’s biggest draw cards is its accessibility among multiple platforms and devices – allowing organisations to streamline how people connect and communicate.

We take a look at the platform’s other key functionalities.

1. Microsoft Office integration

Skype For Business is integrated right into Microsoft Office with the aim of simplifying the process of initiating chats, calls and meetings in an integrated experience within Office 365.

2. Business meeting feature

The business meeting feature allows for up to 250 people to collaborate online through video, audio, instant messaging, or content sharing. Organisers and presenters are also able to record each session.

3. Ability to work across devices

As with Office 365, Skype for Business wants to create a seamless experience for uses across devices. This means users can make, receive and transfer business calls in the office, at home, or on the road, using their phone, PC, or mobile device.

(SME South Africa)

By Lebogang Tsele

Ultra50 smartphone has been launched by Videocon

Domestic mobile manufacturer Videocon on Tuesday launched its flagship smartphone Ultra50 that comes with front-facing fingerprint sensor.

Consumers can buy the device from offline and online platforms from November.

“With the new Ultra50 smartphone, we strive to focus on high-on-style devices and take smartphone experience to a new level,” said Vineet Mahajan, Product Business Head, Videocon Smartphone, in a statement.

The device has a 5-inch HD IPS display supported by MiraVision, 1.3GHz quad-core processor paired up with 3GB of RAM and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system.

Ultra50 packs a 5MP camera with selfie LED flash and a 13MP rear auto-focus camera with dual LED flash and phase detection auto-focus (PDAF) technology.

The device comes with the ‘SOS-Be Safe’ emergency response app, has 32GB internal memory and houses 3,000mAh battery.

Ultra50 comes with pre-installed ErosNow app with a free one-year membership to over 3,000 movies and music videos.

Along with this, Videocon is also giving customers an 18-month long warranty and 15-day replacement warranty.


2017 will bring us 8Gbps WiGig

The Wi-Fi Alliance has certified the 802.11ad standard, known as WiGig, which brings multi-vendor interoperability needed to proliferate WiGig devices.

WiGig operates in the 60GHz spectrum band, which is less congested and complements existing Wi-Fi operating in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

WiGig enables multi-gigabit performance for a range of applications such as wireless docking, augmented and virtual reality, multimedia streaming, gaming, and networking application.

WiGig uses wider channels in 60GHz to transmit data efficiently at multi-gigabit per second speeds, with low latency, at distances of up to 10 metres.

WiGig devices will range from smartphones, portable PCs, tablets, and access points, to home entertainment and consumer electronics.

“WiGig is an exciting technology that is critical in a connected world with new and emerging use cases,” said Yaniv Garty, a vice president at Intel.


Telkom launches data bundle transfer

Telkom has introduced Data Bundle Transfer as a new value added service for mobile prepaid customers.

The feature started rolling out on 20 October, said Telkom.

This feature is available to new and existing prepaid mobile customers and lets you transfer data bundles to other Telkom mobile prepaid customers.

The Data Bundle Transfer service is available on once-off and FreeMe Boost data bundles only, and excludes recurring, time-based, and unlimited data bundles.

To use the service, prepaid subscribers must dial *180# and follow the steps in the USSD menu.

Transfer denominations of 250MB, 500MB, and 1GB are available, with a monthly transfer limit of 5GB.


Find out how your sector stands to benefit from Big Data

Many South African companies are sitting on huge amounts of information, and are losing out on the competitive edge it could give them. This is according to Yudhvir Seetharam, head of analytics for FNB Business.

Big Data allows businesses to extract value (insights) from information from various data sources from public (social and other online sources) and private or commercial sources ie: internal company databases. This information can “produce actionable insights” including targeting new revenue sources or a previously unexplored customer base, and streamlining operations.

This is especially true for key sectors who, because of global business challenges and developments are sensitive to economic cycles, says Seetharam, such as agriculture, retail, healthcare, financial services and franchising.