South Africa is long overdue for Smart Cities Last week I was invited to speak on the Economics Unbound programs on the SABC Live News channel. The topic was Smart Cities, and we discussed various aspects, primarily whether President Ramaphosa’s vision for a South African Smart City was realistic, and whether South Africa was ready for a Smart City.
Based on the feedback received via social media, it became clear that the general sentiment among South Africans on the topic of Smart Cities was negative. However, most of this negativity stems from misconceptions many people have about smart cities
We are living in a time when the world’s population is experiencing accelerated growth. According to the study, by the end of this century 25% of the earth’s population, which will hit the 13 billion mark, will reside in urban areas. This will give rise to cities that will be much bigger than anything we’ve seen in human history: cities I like to call mega-mega cities.
In 2006, for the first time in human history, the number of people living in urban areas equaled the number living in rural areas. This was due to what is often labelled as the “biggest mass-migration in history”, where the world’s population is moving in masses away from rural areas into urban areas. Naturally, this increase in population will place tremendous amount of pressure on the infrastructures of the world’s cities like public transportation, water supply, power supply, sanitation, solid waste management and others.
The recent announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa about developing a “smart city” in South Africa has created quite a stir and has triggered a lot of conversation. Unfortunately, it seems not many people are thrilled about the idea.
Naseema Adams has had enough. She has decided to close her women’s clothing store after four years in operation.
“The rentals and operating costs are insane. It’s just not worth it anymore,” she says.
Naseema has decided to become part of a global movement that is taking the world by storm: she is joining the ranks of what I call the “micro-e-entrepreneurs”.
The ongoing “retail apocalypse” in the United States has claimed more victims in the first quarter of this year than all of 2018 combined. By end April this year, almost 6000 retail stores closed down in the US, while the total number of store closures in 2018 was just 5864.
This a continuation of a trend that has been going on since 2010, and rather than slowing down, it is only showing signs of accelerating. Researchers predict that by 2026, nearly 75000 stores will have closed down in the US alone.
What is causing this this apocalypses and should we try and stop it?
Cryptocurrencies have gained a lot of negative publicity recently, due in large part to their wildly volatile prices, but also due to reports of cryptocurrency theft to the value of over US$ 1 billion in 2018 alone. This is particularly alarming for a currency that was touted as being blockchain-based, and hence super-secure. I have nothing against cryptocurrencies; I believe they are great in theory, even though they do have some unresolved issues. But in time, they might evolve to a point where theory becomes a practical reality.
Imagine if there was a database that collected and stored information about every vehicle on the road, from the time of it's manufacture to the present moment. This database would track every transaction that took place relating to the car. By simply entering the chassis number, you could get access to minute details about the vehicle’s manufacture, its previous owners, its service and maintenance records, records of any accidents it has been in, and a host of other pertinent info. Thanks to blockchain, this technology could be a reality.
It was with great excitement and enthusiasm that I learned about your decision to set up a presidential commission on the fourth industrial revolution. I believe it is a positive step in the right direction for our country, even though many people say it is too late.
Should tech companies work with governments and militaries, knowing that their technology might be used for war? This is a major dilemma that US tech giants like Microsoft and Google are currently facing.
The energy situation in South Africa is unsustainable, and it is not just the poor and working class who are suffering; the entire economy is feeling the pain, and it is just a matter of time before it reaches the verge of collapse, unless we do something about it urgently. Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon or, more accurately, in the sky.
China has solar power plants that cumulatively produce more than four times South Africa’s total electricity needs. The question is, why has South Africa lagged so far behind the rest of the world in solar power production?
Ever since its invention by Leo Baekeland in 1907, plastic has transformed our world in countless ways. It is simply not possible to imagine a world without plastics: everywhere you look, you will find plastics. But what was a miracle for us, has turned out to be a disaster for the environment. Is it too late or can advancements in technology prevent a possible ecological disaster.
When Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2004, there was no way he could have known that his little website was going to become the world’s most popular social network with nearly 2 billion registered users. He also could not have known that his social networking site would be instrumental in one of the most heinous crimes committed in the past century.
What are the five technologies that are going to fundamentally reshape business and society in the next five years? Some of IBM’s leading researchers shared their thoughts on this at IBM’s annual Think conference.
In the previous episode we talked about several in demand jobs that are going to go extinct within the next ten years. However, all hope is not loss. Although the advancements in technology will undoubtedly lead to job loss, it will also create an abundance of new jobs and opertunities.
Technological advancements and automation has always lead to job loss, and with the rate technology has been advancing and continues to advance, this is only going to get worse. But who's really to blame?
In this episode, we talk about some of the gadgets that a couple years ago could have been found in every home but have today become completely obsolete. We talk about the likeliness that this could also happen to mobile phones, and sooner than you'd think.