Social Media has become part of our daily routines, filling in the time gaps we have during breaks, meals and bedtimes. But do South Africans really know how much time they spend on Social Media?

Just oput into perspective of how big our nation is we should note that South Africa had a population of 59.67 million in January 2021. South Africa’s population increased by 741 thousand (+1.3%) between January 2020 and January 2021.

There were 38.19 million internet users in South Africa in January 2021. The number of internet users in South Africa increased by 1.7 million (+4.5%) between 2020 and 2021, which means that internet penetration in South Africa stood at 64.0% in January 2021.

There were 25.00 million social media users in South Africa in January 2021. The number of social media users in South Africa increased by 3.0 million (+14%) between 2020 and 2021. The number of social media users in South Africa was equivalent to 41.9% of the total population in January 2021.

There were 100.6 million mobile connections in South Africa in January 2021. The number of mobile connections in South Africa increased by 817 thousand (+0.8%) between January 2020 and January 2021. The number of mobile connections in South Africa in January 2021 was equivalent to 168.5% of the total population. Note: many people have more than one mobile connection, so figures for mobile connections may exceed 100% of the total population.

WhatsApp is the most popular social media in South Africa. As of the third quarter of 2020, some 93 percent of internet users in the country used the messaging app. YouTube and Facebook followed closely, with a penetration rate of 92 percent and 87 percent, respectively. The number of WhatsApp users in South Africa is estimated to reach 28.6 million users by 2026. In 2021, WhatsApp counted almost 23 million users in the country.

References:

Social Media Statistics in South Africa –

DIGITAL 2021: SOUTH AFRICA- SIMON KEMP
11 FEBRUARY 2021

Fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business are the preferred options for people looking for a fast, stable, and affordable uncapped Internet connection.

There has been a rapid increase in fibre coverage in South Africa with a slew of fibre network operators rolling out networks. There is typically only a single fibre operator which is active in a neighbourhood, which means consumers do not have a choice between different fibre networks, however fibre network operators have partnered with internet service providers to bring you competitive, varied internet package choices.

You also have a choice on which fibre package to choose, which range significantly based on download and upload speed. Infraplex only offers symmetrical fibre packages where the upload and download speeds are the same or example 10/10 Mbps line is 10 Mbps upload speed and 10 Mbps download speed.

Another aspect to consider is whether a router is included in the package, and whether this router serves your needs.

Here are eight questions you should ask when searching for a new fibre service.


What are the installation charges and setup time?

Before you get connected it’s important to know exactly how much you will pay – both up-front and monthly.

Some ISPs provide free installation while others require an initial fee to get you connected.

Ask your provider about installation charges and the time it will take to get your connection up and running.

If you need to stay connected during the process, you should ask your ISP if installation will interrupt your current connection.

Infraplex offers free installation and free routers for all fibre to the home connections.

 


What about the router?

All fibre connections require a router. Ask your ISP about the router you need to establish your connection.

Also ask if this  router will be included in the package, or if you will have to purchase it in addition to the installation charges and monthly fee.

If your previous connection was via a router you could ask your ISP about using the one you already have.

You should also ask your ISP about its specifications and whether it will provide dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) connectivity for optimal Wi-Fi performance.

Infraplex offers a free router for all fibre to the home connections, the router depends on the client requirements and speed packages chosen.


Do I get symmetric or asymmetric speeds?

Symmetric speeds mean that download and upload speeds are the same.

Upload speeds are often lower than download speeds, and you should clarify what the speeds are for the package you order.

If you are a streamer or often need to perform big file uploads, a symmetric connection is what you are looking for.


What is the average speed?

In reality, peak speeds are lower than the speeds you will be getting with daily use.

This can be impacted by many factors, like the number of users on the network and time of day.

Ask your ISP about the average speeds you can expect to get.


How many users can the connection support?

When asking about the average speeds, provide your ISP with info about your use scenario to enable them to provide a suitable connection.

You can ask for a speed estimate according to how many devices you expect to connect, as the number of devices on your network can impact connection speeds.

Our Infraplex technical support team can guide and assist you with connection issues and queries.


Can unused data be rolled over?

If you have a package with a monthly data allocation, ask your ISP if this data rolls over or whether unused data expires at the end of the month.

All Infraplex fibre packages are uncapped, so you will never have to worry about your data running out.

 


 

Do you have dedicated, 24/7 customer support?

Infraplex has a dedicated support team to assist you with any connectivity issues and enquiries you may have related to your fibre internet.

 

 

Information sourced from My Broadband

  • Microsoft’s Design Team is asking typographophiles to vote for a new default font for Office 365.

  • The team commissioned designers to make 5 new choices: Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview.

  • The classic Times New Roman is not an option, and hasn’t been the default since 2007.

It is out with the old, and in with the new. It’s time for you to help Microsoft choose the new default font. Calibri has been holding strong and served It’s time well.

On Wednesday, Microsoft’s Design Team put out a call asking for typographophiles to choose the new default font for the Office 365 software suite, which includes mainstay workplace apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

“A default font is often the first impression we make; it’s the visual identity we present to other people via our resumes, documents, or emails. And just as people and the world around us age and grow, so too should our modes of expression,” the team said in its announcement.

Business Insider US writer, Dominick Reuter

Calibri has been set as the default font since 2007 when it took the place of Times New Roman as the default since the origin of Microsoft’s popularity. 2021 is the dawn of a new era of design and typography which is why it was time to have a new reigning champion.

Microsoft has narrowed the voting choices to only five fonts and while each font holds strong to their own merits, you- the audience and user have a chance to choose your favorite.

The five fonts up for vote are:

  • Tenorite “has the overall look of a traditional workhorse sans serif (a font without a serif, or a stroke at the ends, like Times New Roman), but with a warmer, more friendly style. “

 

  • Bierstadt “is a precise, contemporary sans serif typeface inspired by mid-20th-century Swiss typography. A versatile typeface that expresses simplicity and rationality in a highly readable form, Bierstadt is also notably clear-cut with stroke endings that emphasize order and restraint.”

 

  • Skeena “is a ‘humanist’ sans serif based on the shapes of traditional serif text typefaces. Its strokes are modulated, with a noticeable contrast between thick and thin and a distinctive slice applied to the ends of many of the strokes.”

 

  • Seaford “is a sans serif typeface that is rooted in the design of old-style serif text typefaces and evokes their comfortable familiarity.”

 

  • Grandview “is a sans serif typeface derived from classic German road and railway signage, which was designed to be legible at a distance and under poor conditions.”

All five are available now, to subscribers, through the Office 365 cloud, and social feedback is encouraged on the company’s Twitter page, this is where you can vote for your favorite font.

For Microsoft 365 cloud applications and suites click here

Information sourced from Business Insider South Africa.

With the POPIA deadline looming around the corner it is essential for all business to take action and ensure that their business meets the criteria for POPIA compliance. The need for your business to be POPIA compliant is not only to utilize internal data protection but, the penalties involved if your business is found not to be compliant after 1 July 2021.

The POPI Act sets forth eight conditions for the lawful processing of personal information. These conditions address how organizations demonstrate accountability for ensuring they respect the privacy of individuals in South Africa.

The Act regulates how this information is collected, stored, processed, and shared. Although the Act was signed into law in 2013 and certain sections of the Act went into effect in 2014, these effective sections pertained to the establishment and appointment of the Information Regulator. Once the sections of the Act that place obligations on organizations to ensure the lawful processing of personal information begin, organizations will have one (1) year following that date to comply with the Act’s provisions.

There are essentially two legal penalties or consequences for the responsible party:

  1. A fine or imprisonment of between R1 million and R10 million or one to ten years in jail.
  2. Paying compensation to data subjects for the damage they have suffered.

It is very unlikely that anyone will go to jail and the fines are small compared to other jurisdictions. The other penalties include:

  • Reputation damage
  • Losing customers (and employees)
  • Failing to attract new customers

But your main motivation for complying with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) should be to protect people from harm.

Infraplex has POPIA packages available for your business to help you get compliant before the POPIA deadline. Infraplex has devised a four step solution within our POPIA packages these are:

Consultation

The first step to becoming compliant is setting up a consultation with a compliance agent. This one on one consultation will allow us to get to know you and your business.

Assessment

The assessment process allows us to see what your business currently is and is not compliant with. This involves analysing your internal data storage and processes to determine your current level of legal compliance.

Appointment

In order to gain and maintain your business compliance, we will be required to appoint a compliance officer within your business to monitor your compliance and ensure that processes are performed in accordance to the law.

Solution

Once your current compliance needs have been established, we will then offer your business the correct products and security solutions to maintain compliance.

Click here to set up a consultation with our compliance officer.

Visit compliance.infraplex.net for more infor mation on getting your business compliance.


In South Africa’s current climate, we are constantly surrounded by criminal threats and our first line of defense is to pick up the phone and call for help.

But what number do you call??

We have compiled a list below for you to print and stick on your fridge so that in the event of an emergency, these numbers are nearby.

Emergency

Provider

Number

All Mobile network operator emergency call centre 112
Crime SA Police Service 10111
Medical Government 10177
ER24 084 124
Netcare 082 911
Accidents Arrive Alive 0861 400 800
Fire Fire Department 998/999
Poisoning Bloemfontein region 082 491 0160
KwaZulu-Natal region 080 033 3444
Red Cross 021 689 5227
Tygerberg region 021 931 6129
Mountain rescue Gauteng 074 125 1385 / 074 163 3952
KwaZulu-Natal 031 307 7744
Western Cape 021 948 9900
Self-harm or suicidal thoughts Life Line 0861 322 322
SADAG Mental Health Line 011 234 4837
Suicide Crisis Line 0800 567 567
Child abuse Childline 0800 05 55 55
Domestic abuse Gender-Based Violence Command Centre 0800 428 428 / 0800 150 150

 

Telegram has a feature that lets you import messages from WhatsApp, allowing users to migrate entire chat histories from WhatsApp to Telegram.

This new feature relies on WhatsApp’s “export chat” function, which lets you export the messages in a conversation as a text file. You can also export the photos, videos, audio, and contacts in a conversation.

It isn’t possible to move all of your conversations from WhatsApp to Telegram at once this way. You have to go into each of your contacts and groups, and export all of your chats one by one.

Before deciding whether to transfer all of your WhatsApp messages to Telegram, it is important to know how Telegram will be storing those messages.

Telegram “cloud chats” vs. WhatsApp store-and-forward

When you send a message over WhatsApp and Signal, it is encrypted on your phone and sent to one of the platforms’ servers.

The message is then forwarded — in its encrypted state — to the person or group you are sending it to. Once delivered, the message is deleted from the server.

In other words, the unencrypted message only exists on your phone and on the phones of the people you sent it to.

Telegram has built its platform on an entirely different philosophy. By default, Telegram stores and keeps messages on its servers, along with the keys to decrypt them.

While Telegram does offer a “secret chats” feature that works similarly to WhatsApp and Signal’s end-to-end encryption, but it is not possible to import your WhatsApp messages into a Telegram secret chat.

Telegram’s cloud chats have the benefit that you can log in to your Telegram account from anywhere and access all your messages without having to restore them from a backup.

However, it has a major drawback in that you have to trust that Telegram will not read the contents of your messages, sell them, or monetise them in some other way in future.

Telegram’s privacy record

Telegram’s track record in this regard has been good so far.

It fought an attempt by the Russian government to force Telegram to hand over encryption keys which the Federal Security Service in Russia wanted to use to decrypt users’ messages.

The battle between Telegram and the Russian government ultimately led to the messaging service being banned in Russia.

This in turn led to a high-tech game of cat and mouse that saw Russian authorities blocking Internet Protocol addresses belonging to Amazon Web Services and Google in an attempt to prevent access to Telegram within Russia. Many local businesses were temporarily knocked offline as a result of the fight.

In an FAQ on its website, Telegram states: “To this day, we have disclosed 0 bytes of user data to third parties, including governments.”

WhatsApp cloud backups

To make an informed decision about the privacy and security risks of migrating your messages to Telegram, it’s also important to take WhatsApp’s cloud backup feature into consideration.

WhatsApp offers the ability to back up your messages through integrations with Google and Apple cloud storage services. iPhone users may back up their WhatsApp messages to iCloud, while Android users may use Google Drive.

It is possible to disable cloud backups and opt to manually back up your WhatsApp data.

Whether stored in the cloud or not, these backups are not protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.

Backing up your WhatsApp messages to the Apple or Google cloud is, in principle, similar to exporting and uploading them to Telegram.

Apple, Google, and Telegram may use their own encryption to protect your messages, but they also hold the keys to decrypt them.

If you wish to use WhatsApp’s cloud backup feature, you must then decide whether you trust Apple or Google to keep your data safe and private.

Similarly, if you wish to migrate your messages to Telegram from WhatsApp you must decide whether you trust it to keep your conversations safe and private.

No quid-pro-quo

Another factor to take into account is that while WhatsApp has provided the option to export your messages, Telegram does not offer a similar feature in its mobile app.

The Telegram desktop client does have the ability to export all of your chats either as human-readable HTML or in JSON format.

However, it does not offer the same level of granularity or ease of use that WhatsApp currently does.

Comparison of WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal

The following table compares the key features of WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal.

Not covered here is the issue of the collection and monetisation of personally identifying information by instant messaging applications.

Your messages over free platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram may be encrypted and treated with respect, but that does not stop these platforms from gathering other data such as your usage patterns, contacts, and phone number.

For more on this, please read our earlier report: WhatsApp compared to alternatives Telegram and Signal.

WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy and terms of service were recently the subject of significant social media backlash, causing Facebook to delay the cut-off date to accept its new terms for using WhatsApp.

Telegram has also previously disclosed that it plans to roll out advertising in the large public broadcasting groups hosted on the platform. It will introduce its own ad platform rather than supporting and sharing user data with third-party ad platforms.

Feature WhatsApp Telegram Signal
End-to-end encryption Yes (Signal Protocol) Only in secret chats (MTProto) Yes (Signal Protocol)
Group chats Max. 256 people Max. 200,000 people Max. 1,000 people
Voice calls Yes Yes Yes
Video calls Yes Yes Yes
Group voice calls Max. 8 people Thousands of people Max. 5 people
Group video calls Max. 8 people Not yet available Max. 5 people
User ID Phone number only Phone number or username Phone number only
Cloud storage / backups Backups to Google or Apple servers available Encrypted messages stored on Telegram servers. Telegram has keys to decrypt them. None / Manual backups only
Open source encryption software No — Possibly re licensed from GPLv3 lib signal-protocol No Yes
Open source client software No Yes Yes

Information sourced from My Broadband.

Energy expert Chris Yelland said South Africa experienced the worst load-shedding on record in 2020 and that he expects 2021 to be even worse.

Yelland said “The reality is that Eskom’s energy availability factor (EAF), which is a measure of the availability of Eskom current fleet of power stations, is declining year on year.”

“The best thing that I think one can hope for is that Eskom could stabilise this energy availability factor at the current low levels,” said Yelland.

South Africa has already experienced seven days of load-shedding within the first three weeks of the year when demand was low.

As demand for electricity picks up, Eskom’s ageing power generation fleet will be under severe pressure, especially going into colder months.

The biggest problem is breakdowns. During the most recent bout of load-shedding, 14,748MW of capacity was unavailable due to unplanned maintenance, breakdowns, and outage delays.The lost capacity because of breakdowns dwarfed the 5,358MW which was unavailable because of planned maintenance.

The fact that most of the lost capacity is caused by unpredictable events makes it nearly impossible for Eskom to accurately forecast load-shedding. A good example is Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter’s comments in May 2020 that their outlook for the winter season shows little to no load-shedding expected after the lockdown.

The table below shows the three-month outlook for load-shedding in South Africa.

Eskom load-shedding outlook

Possibility of stage 8 load-shedding

Power and mining expert Ted Blom recently said South Africa should brace itself for the worst year of load-shedding yet in 2021, with Stage 8 being a possibility.

He said Eskom is able to absorb around 11,000MW of electricity shortages before they have to implement load-shedding. Eskom’s outlook for the next three months shows a near-consistent unavailability of 20,000MW because of planned and unplanned outages. This will leave Eskom with a deficit of around 9,000MW, which Blom said can result in stage 6 or even stage 8 load-shedding.

Yelland is less pessimistic on Eskom’s load-shedding outlook, saying to expect stage 8 load-shedding is alarmist.

“You can’t write it off. But to say that we are heading for that is premature. But as I say, it’s not impossible, but I don’t think it’s likely,” Yelland said.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha added that their maintenance plan makes provision for 14,000MW of breakdowns. “That will give us stage 2 or stage 3 load-shedding. In the worst-case scenario we have prepared for stage 4 load-shedding with 15,000MW of breakdowns,” he said.

“For stage 8 load-shedding to occur will require a lot of breakages of Eskom’s equipment – north of 20,000MW. We have not seen that.”

Eskom said they are not working towards a scenario where Eskom will have to implement stage 8 load-shedding, however if stage 8 is implemented, it will require longer shedding periods for South Africans to endure.

The looming resource situation

Yelland said he does not expect the problem of electricity shortages and load-shedding to improve in the short term. “Government procurements of new generation capacity, that means the so-called 2000 megawatts of risk mitigation IPP programme, is about to be adjudicated,” he said. “But then still, orders have to be placed and financial closure has to be achieved – that can typically take six months.”

After these processes, delivery must happen, construction must be done, and the new power must be connected to the grid.

Yelland said the government is touting the end of 2022 for this to happen, but he thinks it is very optimistic.

“I don’t think we can see any improvement before the end of 2022, perhaps even longer,” he said.

Compounding these challenges is that there is currently a leadership vacuum which means people are not making decisions timelessly. “I think there are some agendas within the regulator and within the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy that are trying to hold back the uptake of distributed renewable energy,” said Yelland.

“There are some internal political agendas that are trying to slow this uptake. This has to be addressed at the highest level.” Yelland said South African households and businesses should not rely on Eskom for their future electricity needs. Instead, they should invest in solar and generators to ensure they are not left in the dark when load-shedding hits.

Eskom load-shedding from 2007 to 2020

The table below provides an overview of the number of days of load-shedding and the amount of power shed since 2007.

Year Load-shedding (number of days)
2007 13
2008 44
2009 0
2010 0
2011 0
2012 0
2013 3
2014 17
2015 103
2016 0
2017 0
2018 15
2019 30
2020 52In
Load-shedding (TWh)
2007 0.10
2008 0.77
2009 0.00
2010 0.00
2011 0.00
2012 0.00
2013 0.03
2014 0.29
2015 1.40
2016 0.00
2017 0.00
2018 0.22
2019 1.09
2020 1.27

Information sourced from My Broadband.

WhatsApp has updated its terms and conditions section to include further Facebook integration – including a requirement that app users share data with the company.

As WhatsApp is the central social point of communication within South Africa, it is essential that app users take a minute to understand these new privacy rules they are agreeing to.

In an in-app message sent to users this week, WhatsApp said that the changes will include:

  • Updates to WhatsApp’s service and how it processes your data;
  • How businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats;
  • How WhatsApp will partner with Facebook to offer integrations across Facebook Company products.

WhatsApp said that these changes will officially come into effect from 8 February. After this date, any user which has not agreed to the new terms will no longer be able to use the messaging service.

New Privacy T & Cs can be found here

ArsTechnica reports that some of the data that WhatsApp collects includes:

  • User phone numbers;
  • Other people’s phone numbers stored in address books;
  • Profile names;
  • Profile pictures;
  • Status message including when a user was last online;
  • Diagnostic data collected from app logs.

Under the new terms, Facebook reserves the right to share collected data with its family of companies.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014. The company was founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton who had previously spent 20 years combined at Yahoo.

More than two billion people in over 180 countries use the app, which is currently available as a free download.

Information provided by Business Tech Insider.

Get ready for new and exciting movies and TV Shows coming to Netflix and Showmax this week.

Miami Vice

Netflix

IMDb – 6.0

miami-vice


Left Behind

Showmax

IMDb – 6.5

left-behind-2014


 

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Netflix and Showmax

IMDb – 6.6

the-lost-world-jurassic-park


Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Showmax

IMDb – 7.2

spirit-stallion-of-the-cimarron

 


Pieces of a Woman

Netflix

IMDb – 5.4

pieces-of-a-woman


The Post

Showmax

IMDb – 7.2

the-post

 


Split

Netflix and Showmax

IMDb – 7.3

split


Vikings – Season 6

Showmax

IMDb – 8.5

vikings

 


History of Swear Words – Season 1

Netflix

IMDb – 6.6

history-of-swear-words


Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Season 7

Showmax

IMDb – 8.4

brooklyn-nine-nine


Information courtesy of My Broadband.