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Seemahale and CZ Electronics looks to bridge digital divide

3 OCTOBER 2013, Technology company's to bring affordable tablets and smartphones to the SA market

The phrase bridging the digital divide has be thrown around quite as bit over the last decade with not to many tangible results being seen in South Africa or the rest of the continent, however two South African technology companies will soon be making the concept a reality for many that have been marginalised by technology.


This week, Seemahale Telecoms, a level one BEE contributor and 100% black owned and managed company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with CZ Electronics Manufacturing, to locally manufacture and assemble and market 5' Android powered smartphones and 10.1' tablets.


Seemahale Telecoms Pty Ltd is a telecoms and broadcasting infrastructure and services company. Through our 100% owned subsidiary, Fibretronic Sales, we build RAN's ( 2G, 3G, LTE sites), switching and transmission (TMNET, Cisco routers, DSLAMS, Martis, NG SDH, Microwave, MetroEthernet etc) and renewable energy solution for telcos base stations (Ascot GenSet and hybrid Genset, Self-Recharging Hydrogen Fuel Cell solutions, Solar and mini-wind solutions). Through our Motorola/Arris partnership, we also offer Set Top Boxes, Head-end equipment, Content Management software, IPTV and OTT solutions (NanguTV).


CZ Electronics Manufacturing (Pty) Limited is an Electronic Manufacturing Services company, situated in Boksburg, that employs in excess of 200 people and produces 150000 printed circuit boards per month for a host of different industries, from Electricity Meter Manufacturers . TV Manufacturers, Military, etc.


In a first for South Africa, Seemahale has also agreed to acquire a 51% stake in CZ Electronics Manufacturing as part of the proposed initial transaction between the two entities.


Dr Thabo Lehlokoe, chairman of Seemahale Telecoms says: "Bridging the digital divide is something Seemahale has always been passionate about and this deal will see us bringing this dream which many have in the country to fruition. We will be taking to market quality smart phones and tablets at the sub-R3500 price mark and therefore servicing the entry level consumer that has been denied access to such technology by the price tag associated with it. We also hope that the operators will support this initiative by making these devices available in their stores and their distribution chain"


He adds that with the popularity that the Android platform continues to enjoy, the combination of it and the affordability of the hardware will make the devices the preferred option for many entry level consumers in South Africa and soon those in neighboring countries.


Sagran Pillay, CEO of CZ Electronics Manufacturing says: "We are pleased to be making an entry into the market with products that are affordable and at the forefront of mobile technology. Affordable mobile handsets and tablet computers will go a long way in benefitting human development in all facets of the community within South Africa and Africa. In the same instance, the local manufacture of tablet computers and mobile handsets will create substantial local employment and training opportunities, both skilled and unskilled .We are delighted to be joining forces with Seemahale Telecoms because its intention extends beyond just the business aspect but also to benefitting marginalized communities by providing them access to affordable but quality technology and that is what we pride ourselves as a company in doing."


"As we bring this technology to market, we also want it to benefit the communities in which we operate in more than just one way, so besides saving them money on the purchase price of a quality product and contributing towards the bridging of the digital divide, we also want to make a meaningful contribution to worthy causes by donating part of the revenue generated from our sales." states Lehlokoe.


Seemahale Telecoms intends to donate R20 from the sale of the each device to the following beneficiaries amongst others: The Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust as part of the contribution to the construction of the children's hospital which is an initiative of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, a contribution towards the building of the new Neurology ward at Dr George Mukhari Hospital led by Prof Daliwonga Magazi, the Department Of Ophthalmology at Dr George Mukhari hospital which has established itself as a Centre of Excellence in the areas of Glaucoma Surgery and Research, Pediatric Cataract Surgery and research, Management and Surgery of Ophthalmic trauma for the poorest sections of our communities, and a contribution towards the outreach program of Corpus Christi Anglican Church in Garsfontein, Pretoria.


Meanwhile, the equity aspect of the deal is still subject to the usual conditions precedent.



Techcentral article can be found here.


Fortress of Solitude article can be found here.


Axxess article can be found here.


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