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AppDate: Schneider shocks South African youth

In this AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Schneider’s Electricity course, Ourlives Marketplace, Mesh.Trade, Axis Live Privacy Shield, and the aYo insurance and Clickatell partnership.

Schneider Electric’s Spark Your Interest in Electricity course

Schneider Electric, in partnership with Trace, has launched an interactive training course, Spark Your Interest in Electricity, at no cost. It is available on the newly launched Trace Academia app. 

The course, available on both Android and iOS, provides hands-on training on how to wire electrical equipment safely and responsibly. It also serves as a precursor to safely handling electrical equipment, and encourages youth in taking the next step: enrolling in an electrician or related course provided at various tertiary institutions across the country.

Schneider Electric’s partnership with Trace also forms part of a coalition which sees prominent global private, public, and non-profit partners coming together, through the Trace Academia app, to train a target of 26-million African youths by 2026, providing them with the skills they require to find or create work and the opportunities to kickstart their careers.

The Schneider Electric Training Academy, based in Midrand, provides training programmes and courses by qualified, industry-experienced instructors either face-to-face or via digital training platforms.

The Trace Academia app uses 25MB of memory space and all courses and certificates can be downloaded to users’ devices.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download and signing up is free

Stockists: Click here to visit the Trace Academia website

Ourlives Marketplace

 Ourlives Marketplace is a digital marketplace that gives local brands and businesses a platform to showcase their products and services. It is a digital platform that aims to make it easier for small businesses to access each other in a convenient and reliable way, thus improving their digital footprint and increasing their reach. 

“Our sole purpose is to highlight the talent we have in South Africa while getting the public excited about South African local brands and reminding people how proud they should feel to own and support them,” says Thabang Moye, founder of Ourlives Marketplace.

It is a B2C marketplace platform, made for professionals and brand-conscious individuals that want to plough back and support local businesses as well as learn and be inspired by other SA entrepreneurs. It also keeps audiences updated and informed about the latest products that are available in fashion, streetwear, sneakers, appliances, sports, electronics, groceries, health & beauty and many other things that South African entrepreneurs have to offer.

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Expect to pay: Merchandise ranges from R90 to R1,200

Stockists: Click here to visit Ourlives Marketplace


In July 2022 SA Reserve Bank deputy governor Kuben Naidoo announced plans to declare cryptocurrency a financial product and its intent to develop a regulatory framework around it within the next 12 to 18 months. 

Blockchain, smart contracts, decentralised finance and the like, have the potential to change the global financial system, significantly enough to have captured the attention of regulators around the world.

The key for all players in this market is to ensure that the change is a responsible one. In response, Netherlands-based fintech company Mesh.Trade has has created a secure, compliant and regulation-friendly, decentralised financial market platform. Their goal is to change the traditional finance landscape by bridging the divide between the status quo and the digital future.

“Mesh.Trade was built to become an end-to-end financial market platform for cross-asset issuance, trade, investment and management of digital and financial assets,” says Connie Bloem, Mesh.Trade co-founder and executive head. “It provides institutional issuers, private capital issuers and market intermediaries with a secure, faster and more transparent alternative.” 

The lowered Mesh.Trade cost and access for retail investors is a huge drawcard. As far as institutional investors are concerned, the benefit, again, is lower costs.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download but monthly costs will depend on the type of insurance policy one has signed up for

Stockists: Click here for more information on Mesh

Axis Live Privacy Shield

Axis Live Privacy Shield, an edge analytics camera software solution that masks people, will now support a face-blur feature. This addition enables different levels of masking efficiency on CCTV cameras in malls, shops, banks and hospitals.

With AI-based masking – supported in selected Axis cameras with a deep-learning processing unit (DLPU) – the application analyses live videos and gives users the choice of masking humans, faces or the background in restricted places. It enables users to schedule when the privacy application should be applied and removed, for example on weekdays and weekends.

Axis Live Privacy Shield compares a live camera view to a set background scenes and applies dynamic masking to areas of change, essentially moving people and objects. Users can choose between transparent colour or mosaic masking, the level of masking required, and how often the background automatically updates. 

Colour masking provides privacy protection, effectively eliminating the collection of personal data while enabling movements to be seen. Mosaic masking shows moving objects in very low resolution and allows users to better distinguish forms by seeing an object’s colours.

Key benefits:

  • Safeguards privacy
  • Real-time dynamic masking at high frame rates
  • Choice of colour or mosaic masking

Platform: AXIS Live Privacy Shield is only compatible with certain Axis cameras

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Click here for more information on AXIS Live Privacy Shield

aYo insurance and Clickatell partnership

Chat commerce has moved on from being a nice-to-have to a necessity for insurance companies that are looking for new ways to optimise their costs and boost revenue.

Many South African insurers begin their digital transformation efforts by offering a self service chat channel. These early implementations deliver quick cost savings by allowing customers to update their details as well as access policy details and documentation by using popular platforms such as WhatsApp. 

However, the power of chat commerce is most clearly seen when it comes to cases like customer engagement automation. 

“At present it will cost the average insurer R20 to R25 to service a client or broker via their call centre,” says Werner Lindemann, Clickatell commercial senior vice president for Middle East and Southern Africa. “While this is substantially better than a branch engagement which can reach up to R100, using chat to optimise and automate the engagement can drop this cost to around R4 per engagement.

“Today’s consumers are really savvy when it comes to finding the most price competitive offers, and as insurance is a prime example we have partnered with MTN subsidiary aYo Holdings. However, some of the user validation processes can take up to half an hour via a call centre.

“During a busy workday this will build up costs and often result in customer frustration. Using a channel like WhatsApp means customers can complete the process in their own time.” 

The privacy of the chat channel is also particularly useful. 

Stockists: Click here to find out more about Clickatell and aYo Holdings partnership. 

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