South Africans urged to support the 2016 Community Survey

first_imgSouth Africans are being urged to open their doors to fieldworkers – more than 10 000 of them – going into communities to gather information from 1.3-million households for Statistics South Africa’s 2016 Community Survey, an essential tool in service delivery.From 7 March to 22 April the fieldworkers will gather data on the number of people in South Africa, where they live, their standard of living, and more.The survey was launched on Monday 29 February with a call to citizens to show their support: “Open up your doors and allow the team to come in. South Africa counts because you count.’The launch was held in Mamelodi East near Pretoria, at the Ikageng Community Hall, one of 330 venues around the country where the fieldworkers are being trained.The Community Survey is Stats SA’s second-largest information-gathering exercise after the national census. Last held in 2007, the survey’s main objective is to provide demographic and socioeconomic data at municipal level, to improve government planning.The basic information it gathers includes people’s level of education, the dwellings they live in, statistics on income and ownership of household goods, access to electricity and piped water, and types of toilets. Data is also collected on fertility, cause of death, migration, home ownership and much more.High-tech survey toolsThis year, digital technology will boost the efficiency and size of the survey. Instead of filling out households’ information on paper, fieldworkers will be able to capture it on electronic devices. This “computer-assisted paper interview’, or Capi, method will allow over a million dwellings to be surveyed, up from 300 000 in 2007. And it cuts the cost per dwelling from R2 000 to R200 – a tenfold decrease.Inbuilt controls in the electronic questionnaire will also improve the quality of the data collected. Geographic navigation capabilities will ensure that fieldworkers gather information from the right areas, as selected for the survey.The technology will also speed up the release of the survey results. Census 2011 results were only available a year after the raw data was collected. The 2016 Community Survey results will be released by the end of June – two months after all the households have been surveyed.The speedy delivery of the results will be especially useful for the upcoming municipal elections, to be held countrywide later this year. The survey will give voters objective data on what services have been delivered to what areas, as well as what yet remains to be done.“The citizenry will be able to make decisions based on this enormously helpful body of evidence,’ Stats SA Africa said in a statement. “But more importantly they will know what they as citizens have to do in order to change their lives.’Up-to-date information will also allow municipal officials to plan properly, helping to deepen democracy at the local level. Municipalities will be required to deliver to constituencies that can hold them to account because of the almost instantaneous availability of new data.“Statistics should be embraced as a fundamental part of our democracy, a conduit of trust among citizens, among nations,’ Stats SA said. “Statistics can help to improve the quality of democratic debate by providing reliable indicators, vital for decision-making.’For more information on the survey contact the call centre on 0800 110 248.Source: South African Government News Agencylast_img read more

Computer labs for Alexandria learners

first_img17 July 2013Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu handed over two computer laboratories to Alexandria Primary School and Ukhanyo Secondary School in Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday as the province geared up to celebrate Mandela Day.Speaking at the handover, Sisulu said that giving learners information technology skills would ensure that the lack of skills in the field was addressed, thus boosting the country’s economy.“Our country’s economy is dependent on the success of the information technology industry, which we rely on to connect to the rest of the world in conducting business,” Sisulu said.She added that former president Nelson Mandela’s “never give up” attitude should be embraced by all South Africans as the nation and the world prepared to honour the great man on his 95th birthday.“As we celebrate the iconic Madiba we must, though we know we can never be like him, strive to do good as he continues to inspire us, even when he is in hospital right now.”The State Information Technology Agency (SITA), which donated the two computer laboratories, will also provide technical maintenance and support, in addition to a technician on site at the schools to provide support on an ongoing basis.This will be in addition to training that will be given to teachers on information communications technology for a three-month period.Sisulu also handed over a vegetable garden to Bhongweni Primary School as part of an initiative to promote food security in the community.“Just like Madiba did in fighting poverty, this vegetable garden we are handing over today should serve as a first step in ensuring that poverty is history. This garden will ensure that the community is able to feed itself,” Sisulu said.“We will also, in an effort to encourage residents to have vegetable gardens, start a competition where the best garden will be rewarded.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Why Verizon Killing Its 3G Network Probably Won’t Save You Money

first_imgdan rowinski Tags:#Carriers#lte#verizon Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … We will soon be witness to the death of 3G. At least, we will from Verizon. Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom conference, Verizon chief financial officer Fran Shammo said that Verizon could start phasing out its 3G CDMA chips by the beginning of 2014. The goal, ultimately, will be to lower subsidies that carriers pay to smartphone manufacturers to carry new devices.As it stands in the United States, the big carriers pay full price for smartphones like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S 3 then retail them at a reduced cost tied to two-year contracts. This subsidy costs the carriers a lot of money up front and is a drain on their quarter-to-quarter revenue. The carriers end up ahead if a user stays for the life of the contract (or pays an early termination fee), but anything a company like Verizon can do to lower its subsidy prices is good for its bottom line.“Then if you look out into late 2014 then you start to think of things like, okay, so now I can start to take the CDMA chip out of the phone and just have a pure LTE handset. That also starts to reduce subsidies. So over the next two to three years I think we will start to see subsidies come down,” said Shammo, according to a transcript of the interview from Thomson Reuters (PDF).What is stopping Verizon from phasing out its 3G CDMA network and moving to LTE permanently now? The answer lays with an overlooked aspect of smartphones that users tend to forget exists: voice.The Coming Of Voice Over LTEAs it stands now, smartphones running LTE cannot make calls over the 4G network. LTE is a big, fat data pipe and it is indeed very fast. Yes, you can use some IP-based services to make calls (Skype, for instance), but the traditional phone call is not available on the newest wireless standard.The challenge is that LTE is an IP-based system (akin to Wi-Fi) and does not handle traditional voice. When you make a call with your 4G LTE Verizon phone, you are actually still using the 3G network. Most people do not know or care how that works, but it forces companies like Verizon to keep expensive chipsets in their smartphones to handle voice calls. Verizon’s CDMA network is also why devices like the iPhone 5 cannot simultaneously make calls and browse the Web. The standard just does not allow it. This will change when Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) is available, likely near the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014. “So I am a believer that over the next two to three years subsidies will start to decrease just because of the ecosystem. Then, for us, I think – for Verizon Wireless one other important ingredient for us is obviously we are investing in all this LTE technology. We will ultimately get to Voice Over LTE, probably end of this year, beginning of next year,” said Shammo.What Does It Mean For You?More than any other industry, the mobile operators play a very fluid game of ARPU – average revenue per user. As we have seen in the past, the supposed “deals” we have seen from the carriers are really just rearranging how the language and structure of contracts are made. For instance, with Verizon’s “Share Everything” plan, you are going to pay basically the same as you were under the previous plan for data plus a couple extra dollars per device you add. It remains to be seen if Verizon will actually pass on savings from lower subsidies to consumers buying devices. So, Verizon cutting out CDMA in the next year for the sake of lower subsidies is not likely to lower your own data bill. If there is anything that consumers can count on it will be that companies like Verizon will always be looking for ways to squeeze the ARPU out of them.  The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Aussie TV reporter claims bringing explosives into CWG venue

first_imgAn Australian TV channel has claimed that its crew got past security personnel and entered the Commonwealth Games village with crude explosives bought in New Delhi a few days ago, raising questions over safety at the event venues.Channel 7 journalist Mike Duffy claimed that he walked into one of the Games venues with a case of explosive which could have triggered explosions if fitted with a detonator.The video footage put up in a website called 3news.co.nz showed Duffy secretly filming the purchase of the case from the boot of a car in New Delhi.The video also showed how Duffy was even given a demonstration by the vendors.”If I need to blow up this car, all I need further is a detonator and explosive,” the vendor told Duffy in the video.Duffy claimed that he was easily able to buy the items, including ammonium nitrate and explosives used for mining, in New Delhi, which is scheduled to host the Commonwealth Games from October 3 to 14.”We found that without too much trouble one can purchase these explosives and equipment on the streets of New Delhi. At the mining areas, they sell it almost alongside groceries,” he said in the news footage in the website.On Sunday, two Taiwanese nationals were injured when two motor-cycle borne attackers fired at a bus carrying foreign tourists outside Jama Masjid, raising fresh concerns about security in the wake of the Delhi Games.last_img read more