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* Jeff Perreira, the Chief Executive Officer of Mascom, one of the two cellular companies operating in Botswana, says the economic situation in the country cannot support a third player. Mascom’s five-year exclusivity period is coming to an end and the government’s commissioning of a consultancy to examine the feasibility of introducing a third operator. According to The Gazette, Perreira said the market is already saturated and customers are happy with the two existing companies.

Perreira said while mobile phone companies want to increase their roll out to remote rural areas, they are inhibited by lack of electricity and other related infrastructure. He called on the Botswana Power Corporations to increase power presence in the rural areas. Perreira said while Mascom had initially targeted 60,000 customers, it has now reached a customer base of 280,000.

* Forge Ahead BMI-TechKnowledge, a majority black-owned research, consulting and strategic networking company in the information and communications technology sector, has appointed Jane Mosebi as managing director.

* The Chairman of Altron, Dr Bill Venter, has announced important changes to the Altron board of directors with the appointment of two new directors. Lex van Vught has been appointed as an independent non-executive director and Adv Dali Mpofu has been appointed an executive director of the group with effect from 1 March 2003. Lex van Vught is currently the chief executive of AECI and, as previously announced, will become a non-executive director of AECI effective 1 April 2003. Dali Mpofu is the Altron group executive for corporate affairs, a position he has held for the past two and a half years. Mike Leeming joined the Altron board as an independent non-executive director last year.

* MD of the SAS Institute Bill Hoggarth believes that the South African Government already faces a substantial problem with identity theft and e-government will help crack down on it. Business intelligence software can be used successfully for fraud detection and prevention in an e-government environment. "South Africa is making progress on the road to e-Government," says Hoggarth. "As well as the many benefits of offering public services online, however, moving to an e-Government footing can create data protection problems."

For example, if citizens are filling in forms relating to the registration of a new car or company, they will need to provide a level of personal information, which - if it fell into the wrong hands - could be used to create a false identity, adding to South Africa’s fraud woes.