2 years ago

Opportunity Issue 97

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Opportunity, endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI), is the mouthpiece for business in Southern Africa. The aim of the publication is to inform potential investors both nationally and internationally of the most relevant business news: trade, investment, financial, market-related information for each business sector, as well as to inform of the latest developments in business legislation from both the public and private sector. In this issue, SACCI’s call is for everyone to work towards the common purpose of getting our economy on a sound footing again.


TECHNOLOGY Managing water-related challenges using smart technologies Advannotech aims to be a leading provider of intelligent metering solutions, assisting customers in Africa by deploying the latest technologies enabling them to improve revenue, reduce operating costs and enhance customer service using Internet of Things (IoT). As global demand for water is increasing and shows no sign of abatement, the metering of domestic water usage, and the application of “smart” or intelligent meter technologies, is increasingly viewed as being central to reducing the wastage for water and facilitating more effective management. It is argued that smart meters encourage more equitable allocation, through application of the “pay-as-you-go” principle. This results in the water user paying for what they consume, while seeking to associate usage and cost to provide a fairer and more sustainable management solution. The recent water crisis in South Africa highlights the need for efficient water usage. Not only does overconsumption result in unnecessary spending, but the misuse of water can also lead to costly fines. With a smart water management solution, property owners and tenants alike can effectively monitor and manage consumption, and take proactive corrective measures when and where required, saving water and costs. The development of our solution allows data to be sent from the meters to our cloud servers and then respectively to the portal platform. This allows the client full visualisation and monitoring of their meters in terms of location, water usage, leaks and related pre-set alarms. With water being a scarce, critical resource, governments are under pressure to implement measures that will curb costs relating to water supply and consumption, and management thereof. This enables the municipality to maximise total budgeted and potential income. A turnkey solutions and IoT platform provider, Advannotech, together with their partners, have designed, installed and are managing an integrated technology solution to improve the management of water supply and consumption, revenue collection and water infrastructure. “From a municipality’s perspective, it is a well-known fact that inaccurate tariffs, customer arrears, poor metering, unreliable customer information, faulty billing and invoicing systems affect overall collections, hence the need for the municipalities to do digital metering. This will therefore ensure the easy availability of data and will lead to efficient revenue management, ie ensuring that customers are billed accurately without delay, and the customer database is properly managed. This enables the municipality to maximise total budgeted and potential income,” says Xolani Zuma, founder and CEO of Advannotech. Advannotech’s first project, rolled out at the start of the year with a local partner, is at a district municipality in a rural area of South Africa that now provides the municipality with a real-time view of its water infrastructure. Faulty meters and accurate consumption can now be monitored, maintenance teams will receive instant alerts via email or SMS about faults and corrective action can be taken within a short turnaround time. Alerts include the GPS location of the meter, its status, flow rates and consumption. “It’s been a rather exciting project to initiate a smart way to conserve water. The journey to a smart city starts somewhere, and where better than resource conservation,” says Zuma. “Seeing that our process of data collection is digital, it eliminates manual inputs and takes away the human error factor that can cause incorrect data capturing and faults accruing during the billing processes. Thus, providing a 100% auditable process with history that is always accessible. “One of the fundamental processes in the utility cycle is to ensure that we work together with all councils/municipalities to provide a scope that not only assists the property owner but also assists the councils/municipalities, thus indirectly assisting them to provide a better service to all their clients,” Zuma concludes. 36 |

TOURISM Destination NORTHERN CAPE A dazzling array of tourist attractions are on offer in South Africa’s largest province. From extreme kayaking on the Orange River to admiring biodiversity in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and soaking up the atmosphere of historic Kimberley, the town where South Africa’s mineral revolution began – the Northern Cape has it all. Diamonds brought the Northern Cape to the attention of the world but now a myriad of experiences and attractions are on offer for domestic and international visitors. Kimberley is best known for its central role as the place where diamonds were discovered and the Big Hole is a spectacular reminder of just how deep the pioneer prospectors went in search of sparkling treasure. But Kimberley as the place where a significant siege took place in the Anglo-Boer War is also well documented and visitors can see and experience some of the spirit of the time, when the Boer republics clashed with the British Empire from 1899 to 1902. Kimberley has the distinction of being the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to install electric street lights in 1882. The Northern Cape floral beauty is on display from the end of July every year when the veld becomes a riot of colour. Another kind of beauty is revealed in the arid landscapes of the two Transfrontier Parks, the Kgalagadi and the |Ai-|Ais Richtersveld, both of which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites and represent vitally important biological reserves. | 37

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