150 episodes

Interviews with leaders in South Africa's ICT industry.

TechCentral Podcast TechCentral

    • Technology

Interviews with leaders in South Africa's ICT industry.

    Interview: Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation

    Interview: Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation

    Free Market Foundation executive director Leon Louw joins Duncan McLeod on the podcast for a discussion on the Covid-19 lockdown -- and why Louw thinks it's a dreadful mistake.
    He explains why he believes the impact of the lockdown on people's livelihoods -- and the resultant poverty and death -- could end up being far worse than the Covid-19 pandemic itself.
    Louw gives his views on the way government has managed the lockdown -- not well, he says -- and whether the crisis will eventually have positive implications for South Africa's policy direction. In short, he provides his take on whether South Africa is in for more socialism or greater free-market reforms when the pandemic is over.
    The conversation then turns to the telecommunications sector, which Louw describes as one of the biggest success stories of South Africa's post-1994 democracy, but which, he says, is now threatened by government meddling and overzealous regulatory intervention by the Competition Commission.
    Don't miss the discussion!

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Interview: Africa Data Centres CEO Stephane Duproz

    Interview: Africa Data Centres CEO Stephane Duproz

    TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod is joined by Africa Data Centres CEO Stephane Duproz for a discussion on the company's recent acquisition of Standard Bank's Samrand data centre.
    Duproz explains why the company bought the Gauteng facility, why he believes it's one of the best data centres in the world and what it plans to do with it. He also talks about the company's expansion ambitions on the continent, including facilities it plans to open in Nigeria and Ghana.
    He provides details on the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on Africa Data Centres and why he believes it's going to fuel even faster take-up of such facilities across Africa as companies begin to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives and look at ways of readying themselves for the next crisis.
    Duproz also provides his views on the plans to build two new high-capacity submarine Internet cables around Africa - Google's Equiano and the 2Africa cable backed by Facebook, Vodafone, MTN, Orange and others - and the impact this is going to have on the continent.
    Lastly, he provides details about the news that Africa Data Centres has joined the Nvidia DGC-Ready data centre programme and what it means.
    Don't miss the discussion!

    • 52 min
    Seacom's Steve Briggs on WonderNet and Covid-19-led digital disruption

    Seacom's Steve Briggs on WonderNet and Covid-19-led digital disruption

    In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral is joined by Seacom chief commercial officer Steve Briggs for a discussion on the company's new fibre-to-the-home Internet service provider, WonderNet, as well as a look at how Covid-19 is forcing the world to transform digitally.
    Briggs explains why Seacom decided to launch a consumer FTTH provider and how WonderNet will differentiate itself in a competitive market - and where the name WonderNet came from.
    The conversation then turns to the impact of Covid-19, not only on the traffic flowing across Seacom's network, but also the why the pandemic is likely to accelerate companies' digital transformation efforts.
    What lessons are being learnt through the lockdown, and what does it mean for the future of work and business?
    Don't miss the discussion!

    • 24 min
    Interview: BBD executives on getting digital transformation right

    Interview: BBD executives on getting digital transformation right

    In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral speaks to BBD chief digital officer Peter Scheffel and company executive Andries Janse van Rensburg in a fascinating discussion on digital transformation in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on business.
    In the podcast, Scheffel and Janse van Rensburg discuss the impact that Covid-19 is going to have on companies’ thinking around digital transformation – it will accelerate their efforts, but there are still very good reasons not to rush headlong into these projects without having a proper plan in place.
    The conversation starts with a discussion on what exactly digital transformation entails, who should be leading such projects for companies, why it’s much more than just an IT project, what companies should be doing first, and why they should be tackling these projects in bite-sized chunks, not large-scale endeavours upfront.
    Can companies go it alone, or do they inevitably need external help to guide them through the complexities? And what conversations should company executives be having before they knuckle down?
    How much of a competitive advantage can you get by going through a digital transformation exercise? And on the flip side, to what extent are you undermining your business by continuing with business as usual while your competitors become digitally transformed?
    Scheffel and Janse van Rensburg answer all these questions in the podcast. They also talk about the extent to which customers should be involved in helping guide companies, and more.
    Don’t miss the discussion!

    • 36 min
    Interview: WeWork South Africa GM Stafford Masie

    Interview: WeWork South Africa GM Stafford Masie

    Well-known South African technology entrepreneur Stafford Masie, who was appointed as GM of WeWork South Africa last year, joins the podcast to talk about what he’s been up to, the impact of Covid-19 on WeWork – and the economy more broadly – and why e-commerce should be opened up fully during the lockdown.
    Stafford, who is a former MD of Google South Africa and founder of mobile payments company ThumbzUp, talks about how WeWork is dealing with the Covid-19 lockdown and explains why he believes it could be a beneficiary in the longer term as companies change their approach to work.
    He talks about WeWork’s focus coming out of the pandemic as well as some of the other initiatives he is involved with, including at the CSIR.
    It’s a great discussion – don’t miss it!

    • 46 min
    Measuring the real economic impact of the lockdown

    Measuring the real economic impact of the lockdown

    Just how badly has the economy been hit by the lockdown to fight Covid-19? Mark Sternberg, MD of Spark ATM Systems, says it's able to quantify the impact long before GDP data is released.
    The problem with GDP data, when it’s released, is that’s it’s by no means a current reflection of the economic situation.
    However, Spark ATM Systems, a South African company that operates 4 500 ATMs across the country, believes it is able to offer a much more up-to-date picture of the economic impact that the lockdown is having on the economy and people’s livelihoods.
    In this episode of the TechCentral podcast (watch the video below), Spark ATM MD Marc Sternberg talks about the impact the lockdown is having on the economy, and cash withdrawal trends leading up to the lockdown and what has happened since.
    He also talks about how the numbers the company is seeing in South Africa compare to other markets where its parent company, the Nasdaq-listed Cardtronics, operates and what those numbers could portend for South Africa as it moves to lift restrictions further in the coming weeks.

    • 44 min

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