Door ‘slammed on open access’ to academic work

Anger has been growing over embargoes on published works that “limit access to knowledge and make academics’ work outdated”. South African universities and government agencies have banded together against international academic publisher Elsevier’s new hosting and sharing regime, which they argue “curtails scientific progress and places unnecessary constraints on delivering the benefits of research back…

Jozi’s planning a digital revolution

Barry Dwolatzky, University of the Witwatersrand Over the past two years, an initiative has been underway to put an area of central Johannesburg on the map as a place where digital innovation and entrepreneurship happens in South Africa. There is a growing belief that the work being done by the University of the Witwatersrand a…

City slums: a big health risk in southern Africa

By Michelle Galloway, media officer for the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). Edited by Anina Mumm Urbanisation has a huge impact on health in South Africa if one considers that, according to a 2012 UNICEF report, South Africa is the most urbanised country in southern Africa and more than half of children in South Africa…

South African science is making its mark – but still has a way to go

John Butler-Adam, University of Pretoria Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in Africa. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look at key issues affecting society. South Africa is fortunate to boast excellence in a large number…

“Digital divide can do more harm than apartheid” – Minister

South Africa’s Minister for the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele has stressed that closing the digital divide is just as important as the struggle against apartheid was. “We all know how much harm apartheid did. Failing to close the digital divide will do more harm than apartheid did. In the spirit of co-operation, we…

iShack delivers power (and television) to the people

If you are poor and living in an informal settlement in South Africa, housing is a waiting game – if you qualify, that is. According to the most recent census data, more than three million people live in shacks in informal settlements, which equates to about 1.2-million households throughout the country. And the government’s subsidised…

How Gauteng gov will allocate investments in tech

Gauteng MEC of finance Barbara Creecy, in her budget speech at the Gauteng Legislature has revealed exactly how much would be allocated to the five corridors of development, which  include tech projects, announced by Gauteng Premier David Makhura last month in his State of the Province Address. The Central Development Corridor aimed at the financial sector, Information Communication Technology…