Computer News - In Brief

Computing

- The Federal Govern-ment through the National Universities Commission (NUC) has earmarked US$50,000 (N6.5 million) to pilot e-learning in three universities in the country. These will be sited in universities in Lagos, Jos and Calabar.

_ South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has reached a temporary agreement with Randburg-based hardware company Graficomp, for the return of six printers used to keep the national voters’ roll up to date. This comes after the printers were removed from the IEC last Monday in line with a Pretoria High Court ruling. According to News24, Graficomp obtained a summary sentence against the IEC whereby the IEC had to pay R700 000 to Graficomp or return the printers.

The report stated that while the IEC paid Graficomp for the printers, a black empowerment group that acted as a middleman had allegedly disappeared with the money.

- Investment in IT is having a major impact on the competitiveness of small and medium businesses in SA, according to the SME Survey 2003 project, a partnership between World Wide Worx, Netsurit and Coolcumba Communications. About 5900 SMEs were interviewed on aspects such as the extent and impact of their investment in IT; factors influencing purchases; and the impact of financial services including the access or lack of access to such services. Satisfaction levels of SMEs with financial and business advisory services were also canvassed.

In 2002, 48% of SMEs spent more than 1% of turnover on IT (47% in 2001). This is expected to rise to 49% in 2003. "This confirms the view that SMEs represent a growth market for the IT sector, even as large corporations are cutting back," says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx.