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Jobs data shows digital rising in South Africa

Recent research into digital jobs in South Africa by Adzuna shows that the average salary on digital vacancies has grown from around R330,000 in 2017 to R420,562 in February 2018, indicating that the industry is coming of age.

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While many may argue that South Africa is not on international digital industry pacing, others will firmly show, giving evidence, that this is not the case. For example, the latter will cite numerous large-scale digital companies that have sold to even bigger international players in recent years, as well as an increasingly growing entrepreneurial tech sector, plus the fact that companies are spending more on digital marketing than ever before.

And as the industry moves ahead strongly, a factor of this growth is whether or not the country can produce the skills required for new vacancies that firms have to push their new initiatives. More importantly, are these skills local or foreign? Digital training firm Webgrowth attests to that, with CEO Neil Pursey commenting that around 56% of all students are from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

Recent research into digital jobs in South Africa by online job aggregator Adzuna shows that the average salary on digital vacancies has grown from around R330,000 in 2017 to R420,562 in February 2018. While it dipped in March 2018 to R393,153, it gained back to R410,509 in mid-April 2018. The results are deemed quite accurate, since logic dictates that digital jobs are almost all advertised online and not offline.

Such large growth is often indicative of an industry that is coming of age, where skills are more readily available and more qualified individuals exist with better qualifications and experience.

However, the average salary in Gauteng has crept up faster to R456,023, much higher that the Western Cape, where R352,400 was recorded, supporting the old argument that Joburg whips Cape Town on the payscales.

Partly, this could be due to the high amount of senior roles at high salaries now available in the north of South Africa. A full sixth (17%) of the digital opportunities listed were in the range of R700,000 and above on an annual salary basis. Job adverts for example for “Head of Digital” and “Senior Digital Consultant” have not been as forthcoming in 2014 as they are now. Again, the percentage was 20% in Gauteng, while only 13% of vacancies were in the highest salary bracket in the Cape.

Many digital “gurus” apparently feel that despite salaries, the Cape is the place to be, with more digital company activity down south. The numbers felt differently, and Gauteng led with almost 1,250 job opportunities, while the Western Cape trailed with 892 and KZN slumped in at 152. The other provinces do not feature in the numbers much at all.

This effectively translates into Gauteng hosting over 50% of the countries digital jobs. It also demonstrates how Gauteng together with the Western Cape and KZN claim over 97% of the country’s digital vacancies. Of all the job ads, the most prominent positions were either in digital marketing (just over 20%) or fitted somehow into the digital media space (around 15%).

For those now despondent that perhaps they are not earning what they should be, or living and working where they should be, consolation lies in the fact that the digital industry generally earns above the national average salary, by around 20%.

Digital skills have grown phenomenally in South Africa, for many reasons. More companies are spending more each year on advertising and other digital exploits, pushing the requirements for skills higher, while more experienced and better qualified job seekers are coming to the fore, having trained at institutions such as Webgrowth. South Africa’s digital future is bright!

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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