Daily Archives: March 8, 2016

IBM Opens First Cloud Data Center in South Africa

Collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom expected to fuel cloud adoption across Africa

JOHANNESBURG, March 8, 2016 / PRNewswire — IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that it is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Center in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.  IBM will provide clients with a complete portfolio of cloud services for running enterprise and as a service workloads.

IBM Corporation logo

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO

The new facility underscores IBM’s growing cloud footprint, which now includes 46 cloud data centers across six continents. Today’s news also reinforces the joint partnership between SAP and IBM aimed at accelerating a customers’ ability to run core business in the cloud.

“We’re working to drive cloud adoption that best leverages a customer’s existing IT investments,” said Hamilton Ratshefola, IBM Country General Manager in South Africa. “Our new Cloud Data Center gives customers a local onramp to IBM Cloud services including moving mission critical SAP workloads to the cloud with ease. It also gives customers the added flexibility of keeping data within country which is a key differentiator for IBM.”

The IBM Cloud Data Center will provide enterprise customers in South Africa and Africa with access to IBM’s global network of Cloud Data Centers and services expertise. This will enable businesses to run critical applications on the cloud, providing access to a broad array of services for building in-country cloud solutions, while offering faster network speeds to improve performance and reach end users even faster.

“The increase of enterprise cloud computing on the continent is being driven by large enterprise and multinational organisations expanding their presence and IT requirements across Africa,” said Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer of Vodacom Business. “CIO’s are looking to gain efficiencies and cut cost by moving more of their IT infrastructure, applications and processes into the Cloud. Vodacom’s extensive Fixed and Mobile network infrastructure, Pan African and global footprint and its investment in data center infrastructure provides the ideal platform and environment to deliver cloud services to large and multinational enterprises.”

Today’s news showcases IBM’s global reach and broad portfolio of cloud services capable of supporting very large enterprises like big retailers and financial institutions. Vodacom is committed to delivering enterprise grade cloud solutions and this partnership with IBM delivers on that scale and will position Vodacom Business as a leader in total IT solutions across the continent.

“Gijima as a 100 percent black owned South African company, is proud to be the cloud partner of choice for these unique IBM services,” said Eileen Wilton, CEO of Gijima. The partnership with IBM and Vodacom is an extension of Gijima’s hybrid cloud strategy and is the culmination of two years of hard work as part of our turnaround strategy. Gijima is the ideal partner for this service as we already have the system and SAP integration skills as part of our existing solutions offering.

Bringing together Vodacom’s network and Africa footprint, Gijima’s SAP enterprise expertise and IBM’s cloud platforms will create a powerhouse in cloud services, resolving data latency and in-country regulatory issues through the protection of data in-country and potentially also offset data networking costs. Gijima and Vodacom will both resell IBM’s Cloud Managed Services to the SAP enterprise customer base in the region.

IBM Cloud delivers fast, easy and automated access to public, private and hybrid cloud services to help clients digitally transform. IBM Cloud is a growing collection of services including analytics, mobile, networking, storage, Internet of Things and cognitive computing. With more than 46 global cloud data centers, IBM helps companies securely manage and gain insight into their data no matter where it resides.

This news is the latest investment IBM is making in Africa’s future and the development of the continent’s economy including IBM’s Africa Research labs, a state-of-the-art Innovation Centers as well as the IBM Technical Academy and IBM University Program.

About IBM Cloud:

For more information about IBM Cloud visit: ibm.com/cloud-computing

About Gijima:

Gijima is one of South Africa’s leading Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Service companies with 100% unencumbered black ownership and a level 2 Broad Based Black Empowerment rating. Gijima is 100% managed by South Africans, is locally funded and offers application services, infrastructure configuration and implementation and end-to-end managed outsource services through our national footprint, OEM partnerships and our national small, medium and micro enterprise development network.

Our uniqueness lies in the combination of our proudly South African footprint, our proven ability to manage complexity, our track record of delivery across the years and the ability to provide our clients with technology solutions that deliver tangible business benefits. Employing more than 2 000 highly qualified, dedicated and committed employees, Gijima is considered as one of the leaders in the industry remaining well positioned to add value to all our clients, which includes 51 of the top 100 companies listed on the JSE.

About Vodacom:

Vodacom Business was established in 2008 as the enterprise arm of Vodacom Group. It delivers ICT solutions to meet the needs of the public sector, corporates, medium and small enterprises.

Vodacom Business offers solutions that extend from mobile to fixed-line access, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Voice over IP (VoIP), hosted facilities, cloud computing, storage, backup, security and application solutions.

Vodacom’s dedicated bandwidth offerings are fully managed and suitable for branch-to-branch connectivity as well as connecting businesses to our IP service offerings at high speeds with dedicated access to your company and its offices. Our last mile access products are delivered via a range of mediums, including ADSL, Wireless, VSAT, Mobile and Fibre technologies. We have eight data centers in South Africa where we deliver a range of business grade cloud solutions, M2M services and a full suite of enterprise mobility solutions.

For more information contact:
Hulisani Rasivhaga
IBM External Relations Leader,
South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 302 6243
Email: Hulisani@za.ibm.com

Tshepo Ramodibe
Executive Head Of
Department: Stakeholder &
Reputation Management
Tel: 011 653 5967
Email: Tshepo.Ramodibe@vodacom.co.za

Thembi Tulwana
Corporate Affairs and
Marketing Executive
Tel: +27 (0)12 675 5564
Email: Thembi.tulwana@gijima.com

pH Miners Inc. Releases 2 New Cryptocurrency Miners

Developed for Bitcoin and Litecoin, New Miners Offer Highest Standards of Quality at Affordable Prices for Users

NEW YORK, March 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — pH Miners Inc. has officially launched two new, highly powerful miners for Bitcoin and Litecoin, two of the leading cryptocurrencies in the world.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6d68cb8c-fc1a-4e77-9a50-a01ad1550c47

The company has developed the miners—Bitcoin Miner 25/THs and Litecoin Miner 1000MH/s—to enable users to more easily process digital transactions and quickly monitor the release of new digital coins. Each miner retails at $3,000 and comes with all of the necessary equipment, including the control unit, cabling and casing, making it fast and easy to set up and operate.

“We are absolutely thrilled to launch these two new cryptocurrency miners and make them available to people located all around the world,” said Eric Franklin, CEO of pH Miners. “Our top priority is to make sure our products allow users to make the most out of the digital currency revolution that continues to grow on a global level.”

pH Miner’s new Litecoin Miner 1000 MH/s comes with the ability to mine both Litecoin and a variety of other cryptocurrencies across the globe. Both miners have undergone comprehensive testing throughout multiple stages of their manufacturing processes, ensuring the highest standards of quality possible.

The company, based in New York City, has a team of specialists on staff with years of experience working closely with both Bitcoin and Litecoin hardware. In creating its cryptocurrency miners, the team uses only top-quality materials and components, making the products highly durable and long-lasting for users. pH Miners only accepts payment in Bitcoin, provides an extended 15-year warranty to cover any types of failure in its products and offers free shipping to anywhere in the world via UPS or FedEx.

Bitcoin and Litecoin have risen significantly in popularity over the past several years, with one Bitcoin currently worth about $400 U.S. dollars. Litecoin is now worth a more modest three U.S. dollars, but has been gradually on the rise since its launch in 2011. In fact, retailers, financial institutions and members of the public are increasingly viewing these cybercurrencies as viable alternatives to more traditional forms of money, which are vulnerable to socioeconomic and political shocks occurring with greater frequency worldwide.

pH Miners aims to deliver high-tech solutions for effectively and profitably mining cryptocurrencies, using proprietary components rather than sourcing them from outside parties.

All of its hardware, including the chips that run its miners, is manufactured at the company’s partner facilities in Asia. This gives pH Miners the ability to maintain quality while offering its products at affordable prices.

For more information on pH Miners and its new cryptocurrency miners, please visit http://www.phminers.com.

Eric Franklin

Government’s drought response exceeds R1bn

Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti says government’s response to the drought now exceeds R1 billion.

The Minister on Tuesday chaired the Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development Cluster media briefing at the Imbizo Centre, in Cape Town. The briefing was aimed at providing a progress report on the implementation of the Nine Point Plan following President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address last month.

“We have to contend with drought, which has resulted in losses worth R16 billion across the sector. Government’s response to the drought crisis now amounts to over R1 billion,” he said.

This comes as several provinces have been declared drought disaster zones due to nationwide water shortages.

The Minister said government’s response includes the allocation of R528 million to smallholder farmers and at least R130 million to support indebted commercial farmers by the Industrial Development Corporation and Land Bank.

“As the drought has a direct impact on the country’s food security, we will import an estimated four million tons of maize to meet domestic needs.

“A total of R2.8 billion has been allocated over the medium term to Fetsa Tlala, a food security initiative,” he said.

The Minister said the Department of Water and Sanitation has reprioritised R502 million to deliver water, protect springs and refurbish boreholes in response to drought conditions.

He said funds have also been provided for feed and support for livestock farmers, and disaster relief measures.

Over 12 000 jobs created

The Minister said, meanwhile, that government supported 13 912 smallholder farmers during 2015.

He said a total of 76 495 hectares (ha) of land was put under production, while 5 294 ha was rehabilitated for production and 1 504 ha of forests were planted in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

“This initiative created 12 537 jobs. Going forward, we will expand support to farmers through the establishment of 88 Farmer Production Support Units and bring new areas into production with commodities aligned to the Agriculture Policy Action Plan, and put 120 000 ha of land into productive use.

“In addition, we will support 25 000 farmers focusing on commodities such as grain, fruit, vegetables and red meat. The programme will generate over 100 000 jobs over the next three years,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister said the Agri-Parks programme has now been increased to cover and benefit 44 districts due to an increased demand from district municipalities.

He said 17 projects associated with the Agri-Parks programme are at various stages of construction.

“The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, working with the Department of Trade and Industry, has agreed to align the Agri-Hubs to the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

“Six Agri-Hubs were identified for alignment,” he said.


Government continues investment in energy sector

Government says it will keep the development of the energy sector high on its priority list as this is key to easing constraints to economic growth.

The Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development cluster, chaired by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti, on Tuesday, briefed media to give an update on the implementation of the Nine Point Plan.

The plan, which was announced by President Jacob Zuma in the 2015 State of the Nation Address, aims to put the country on a sustainable growth path, where the energy challenge is resolved, among other goals.

In a statement, the cluster said progress has been made to stabilise electricity supply, which is a crucial resource to keep industry and business powered. Through the Eskom maintenance programme, the restoration of the Duvha unit, connection of the Medupi unit 6 and customers using electricity sparingly, there has been no load-shedding since September 2015.

Government has invested R83 billion in Eskom, which includes R60 billion that was converted from a guarantee to a grant. Moreover, R23 billion was secured from the sale of government’s Vodacom shares.

“This has enabled the utility to continue investing in Medupi and Kusile power stations,” said the cluster.

Through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), 6 376 MW of electricity have been procured. 2 045 MW from 41 IPPs are already operational.

The multiple bid windows of the REIPPP has attracted investment of R194 billion, while the procurement of 2 400 MW of new coal fired power generation capacity has been completed.

South Africa is also sourcing 2 600 MW of hydroelectric capacity from the Southern African Development Community region.

The Solar Water Heater programme, which focuses on load reduction, will continue. The load reduction programme aims to retrofit approximately 200 000 electric geysers with solar water heaters annually. This will reduce electricity demand in the high consumption residential sector.

” We will provide skills to emerging companies and local communities to participate in various aspects of the solar water heater roll-out programme that is targeting to install 38 000 units in the 2016/17 financial year,” said the cluster.

Skills development

A pilot programme, which will see 300 learners being trained to install and maintain solar geysers, has been initiated in Ekurhuleni. A further R36 million has been set aside to provide training to other beneficiaries in other municipalities.

The National Skills Fund (NSF) has disbursed R96 million towards developing renewable energy training facilities at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

This initiative seeks to respond to the country’s adopted strategy to promote renewable energy production in order to supplement the current fossil fuel energy production.

NSF has also set aside R204 million towards establishing work integrated learning facilities for engineering students. The project aims to provide on-the-job training for mechanical and electrical engineering students in order to obtain registration as engineers.

Nuclear programme

The cluster said the expansion of the nuclear programme remains part of South Africa’s future energy mix.

“The procurement plan for 9 600 MW nuclear build programme will be implemented in the next decade at a pace informed by what the country can afford,” said the cluster.