Author Thalia Holmes

In-depth

Land grab begins in mobile payments

There’s a revolution under way, and this one’s not being agitated by the working class, although they certainly have their part to play. It is being waged by banks, cellphone providers and entrepreneurs hoping to capitalise on a mobile commercial market that is estimated will be worth more than US$800bn by 2016 and have more than 400m users

In-depth

Big money in hunt for SA e-retail riches

Big companies are splashing unprecedented amounts of cash into e-retail in South Africa, with the likes of online merchandiser Takealot.com recently raising R1bn of investment for expansion in the country and sub-Saharan Africa, and Naspers ploughing R5,6bn into e-commerce around the globe

In-depth

Drones fly into murky territory

There are potholes in the tar leading to the North East Radio Flyers model airfield in Kelvin, just north of Johannesburg. A beefy security guard in camouflage mans a boom gate next to a sign indicating that the field is for members only, and visitors “by invitation”. Four or five cars are parked next to the thatched

Editor's pick

The app that takes you for a ride

It’s been three minutes since I booked a taxi ride on my smartphone; not quite enough time to get to the road outside my office in Rosebank. My taxi driver has already arrived and is calling to let me know. I find a white Mercedes C-Class pulled up at the kerb. There is no taxi sign on the car, but I recognise

In-depth

Hard-pressed S Africans open to cheap talk

South Africa, where 80% of the adult population owns a cellphone but the median income is a mere R3 000/month, poses specific challenges to tech companies trying to make inroads into the cellphone market. For many, the solution has come in the form of apps that allow

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S Africans turn to crowdfunding sites

Caitlin Clerk, 24, has porcelain-white skin, big grey-green eyes framed by long lashes and dark, flowing hair. She extends a slender, soft arm in greeting. Her voice has a melodic timbre to it. As she settles next to a piano and sight-sings tunes for an upcoming stage show, it’s easy to see she’s a performer

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Banks, operators in fraud blame game

With the number of Sim card fraud cases in South Africa rising sharply last year, the banks and cellphone service providers are locked in a blame game, with each party arguing that the other could do more to combat the virtual scourge. An increasing number of South Africans

In-depth

Behind the ‘Please call me’ case

It is not clear why the legal battle between Nkosana Makate, the man who claims he invented the “Please call me” service, and telecoms giant Vodacom has so captured the imagination of the South African public. Perhaps it is because of the classic David and Goliath proportions of the saga, or perhaps it is a

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A playground for faceless criminals

In January, in the flurry of resolution that accompanies the new year, Dino Maloko (not his real name), 40, decided to bite the bullet and pay off his credit card. He was over R40 000 in the red, and he wanted to start the year off right. So he made a large payment into his bank credit card account and got his card debt