When we think of computers our mind automatically jumps to big-name brands such as HP, Lenovo and Apple. But aspiring entrepreneur Mpumelelo Mahlangu is aiming to change this perception and show South Africans that local is lekker.
Mpumelelo recently founded and is about to launch the first-ever entry-level South African laptop Dot Connect. It’s the first laptop to be launched by a black South African Township-based company and entrepreneur and competes with a wide range of budget entry-level laptops such ASUS, ILIFE and Connex.
Mahlangu left matric knowing fully well that university was not his destiny yet after completing his matric he went onto Tshwane North and eventually Unisa to which he eventually dropped out to start his reptile rescue company and now Dot Connect Electronics, which has allowed him to create his first laptop.
Dot Connect was born during the COVID-19 pandemic began and South Africa went on lockdown. With movements restricted and many people working and learning from home, Mahlangu saw a gap in the market and came up with a solution to create his own entry-level laptop, a product for all consumers to afford.
“My inspiration came when I realised that with schools closing and thinking back to how I struggled to get through varsity without having my own laptop and having to depend on Cafés and computer labs. A lot of students like myself are going to struggle even harder with now the school setting being changed,” Mahlangu said.
“The aim is to build an electronics brand that will be competitive against foreign-owned brands. Currently, we don’t have a South African owned laptop nor tv so we want to penetrate that market in terms of product quality, affordability and making sure this will increase the job employment rate. We aim to continue manufacturing and servicing the laptop here in South African.”
Mahlangu has also pledged to help empower the black people, he plans to launch an initiative that will help young people in the township to diagnose and fix laptops.
Dot Connect offers a 64GB storage space, 128GB dual hard drive, SSD port, 14inch Screen, 400mah Battery and a 6GB RAM.
The laptop will be available online for R4 999.00 and what sets it apart is that it was conceived and designed in Soshanguve near Pretoria.
Mahlangu said he was “still waiting for approval” for licensing from the Independent Communication Authority of SA, having “applied for it about two months ago.”