South Africa's data centres encouraged to conserve energy

·
June 10, 2024
·
5 min read
data centre
Electrical Cabinet Electrical Data Center

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Hola,

Victoria from Techpoint here,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • South Africa's data centres encouraged to conserve energy
  • MultiChoice Nigeria to appeal a ₦150m fine
  • Wema Bank tightens security after losing $594K to fraud

South Africa's data centres encouraged to conserve energy

data centre
Electrical Cabinet Electrical Data Center

South Africa’s Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) is urging data centre providers to cut down their reliance on the national power grid. 

In its recently published National Policy on Cloud and Data, communications minister Mondli Gungubele emphasised the need for data centres to have backup power and water sources due to the country’s ongoing electricity issues. 

The policy suggests the government should offer incentives for water and energy conservation to help data centres operate smoothly without putting too much pressure on national resources.

Data centres, which run 24/7 and use a lot of electricity, can't depend solely on the national grid anymore. To prevent service disruptions, the DCDT recommends that data centre operators secure their own electricity and water supplies. 

This move is crucial to maintaining continuous operations and reducing their dependency on the national network. The policy also emphasises that data centres must adhere to environmental laws, avoid restricted areas, and ensure they are not built in disaster-prone locations.

The DCDT highlights that data centre operators need to implement alternative energy solutions to avoid any operational hiccups. 

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Additionally, data centres should aim to achieve a fault-tolerant design that ensures a minimum uptime of 99.995%, especially those used by the government. 


MultiChoice Nigeria to appeal a ₦150m fine

MultiChoice building

Last Friday, MultiChoice Nigeria announced it would appeal the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal's ruling in Abuja. The South African payTV subsidiary said the tribunal “breached their right to fair hearing.”

This move comes after the tribunal fined the pay-TV operator ₦150 million for ignoring a court order that prevented it from raising the prices of its DStv and GOtv packages

The tribunal, led by Thomas Okosu, also ordered MultiChoice to give Nigerians a one-month free subscription on both platforms.

So, how did we get here? In April 2024, the tribunal stopped MultiChoice Nigeria from increasing its subscription fees without adequate notice. Barrister Festus Onifade filed a motion, claiming that the company's 8-day notice for a price hike was insufficient because customers require a month's notice. 

Even after the tribunal ruled in Onifade's favour, temporarily halting the price increase scheduled for May 1, 2024, until a final decision could be made, MultiChoice proceeded with the price increase, violating the tribunal order.

But MultiChoice's lawyer, Moyosore J Onibanjo, filed a preliminary objection, arguing that the court didn't have the jurisdiction to rule on the case since price regulation is a power vested in the Nigerian president. 

However, Onifade contended that the problem was the inadequate notice, not the price increase itself. The tribunal agreed and maintained its jurisdiction, fining MultiChoice ₦150 million for disobeying its interim order.

Onifade also requested that the tribunal order MultiChoice to pay an additional ₦1 billion or any appropriate amount for deliberately ignoring the court's order. The tribunal settled on a ₦150 million fine. 


Wema Bank tightens security after losing $594K to fraud

Wema Bank

Wema Bank in Nigeria has teamed up with Daon, a global digital identity trust company, to bring facial recognition technology to its platform. This move is aimed at boosting security after numerous fraud attempts. 

The bank has rolled out Daon’s xProof and (xAuth/xFace) applications on the Daon IdentityX® platform for digital identity verification and authentication on their app.

This initiative lets bank customers use features like taking a selfie to access banking services. 

Wema Bank, similar to other Nigerian banks, has faced significant fraud on its platform in recent years. In April 2024, the bank reported losing ₦685 million ($594,943) to fraud and forgery in 2023. This spurred the bank to expand its fraud monitoring team and launch an anti-fraud campaign to protect its customers.

In the same month, Wema Bank took the drastic step of removing and suspending up to seven fintech partners from its payment gateway platform due to fraudulent activities. This was part of a broader effort to clamp down on fraud and secure their systems.

Clive Bourke, President of EMEA and APAC at Daon, pointed out that identity fraud is a major financial loss for banks, making it crucial to have strong defences. 

Thus, integrating Daon's identity verification and authentication solutions into the Wema Bank app will offer customers a more efficient and secure user experience.


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Have a productive week!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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