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Listen to me: machines learn to understand how we speak

By Michael Cowling

At Apple’s recent World Wide Developer Conference, one of the tent-pole items was the inclusion of additional features for intelligent voice recognition by its personal assistant app Siri in its most recent update to its mobile operating system iOS 9.

Now, instead of asking Siri to “remind me about Kevin’s birthday tomorrow”, you can rely on context and just ask Siri to “remind me of this” while viewing the Facebook event for the birthday. It will know what you mean.

Technology like this has also existed in Google devices for a little while now – thanks to OK Google – bringing us ever closer to context-aware voice recognition.

But how does it all work? Why is context so important and how does it tie in with voice recognition?

To answer that question, it’s worthwhile looking back at how voice recognition works and how it relates to another important area, natural language processing.

A brief history of voice recognition

Voice recognition has been in the public consciousness for a long time. Rather than tapping on a keyboard, wouldn’t it be nice to speak to a computer in natural language and have it understand everything you say?

Ever since Captain Kirk’s conversation with the computer aboard the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek series in the 1960s (and Scotty’s failed attempt to talk to a 20th-century computer in one of the later Original Series movies) we’ve dreamed about how this might work.

Even movies set in more recent times have flirted with the idea of better voice recognition. The technology-focused Sneakers from 1992 features Robert Redford painfully collecting snippets of an executive’s voice and playing them back with a tape recorder into a computer to gain voice access to the system.

But the simplicity of the science-fiction depictions belies a complexity in the process of voice-recognition technology. Before a computer can even understand what you mean, it needs to be able to understand what you said.

This involves a complex process that includes audio sampling, feature extraction and then actual speech recognition to recognise individual sounds and convert them to text.

Researchers have been working on this technology for many years. They have developed techniques that extract features in a similar way to the human ear and recognise them as phonemes and sounds that human beings make as part of their speech. This involves the use of artificial neural networks, hidden Markov models and other ideas that are all part of the broad field of artificial intelligence.

Through these models, speech-recognition rates have improved. Error rates of less than 8% were reported this year by Google.

But even with these advancements, auditory recognition is only half the battle. Once a computer has gone through this process, it only has the text that replicates what you said. But you could have said anything at all.

The next step is natural language processing.

Did you get the gist?

Once a machine has converted what you say into text, it then has to understand what you’ve actually said. This process is called “natural language processing”. This is arguably more difficult than the process of voice recognition, because the human language is full of context and semantics that make the process of natural language recognition difficult.

Anybody who has used earlier voice-recognition systems can testify as to how difficult this can be. Early systems had a very limited vocabulary and you were required to say commands in just the right way to ensure that the computer understood them.

This was true not only for voice-recognition systems, but even textual input systems, where the order of the words and the inclusion of certain words made a large difference to how the system processed the command. This was because early language-processing systems used hard rules and decision trees to interpret commands, so any deviation from these commands caused problems.

Newer systems, however, use machine-learning algorithms similar to the hidden Markov models used in speech recognition to build a vocabulary. These systems still need to be taught, but they are able to make softer decisions based on weightings of the individual words used. This allows for more flexible queries, where the language used can be changed but the content of the query can remain the same.

This is why it’s possible to ask Siri either to “schedule a calendar appointment for 9am to pick up my dry-cleaning” or “enter pick up my dry-cleaning in my calendar for 9am” and get the same result.

But how do you deal with different voices?

Despite these advancements there are still challenges in this space. In the field of voice recognition, accents and pronunciation can still cause problems.

Because of the way the systems work, different pronunciation of phonemes can cause the system to not recognise what you’ve said. This is especially true when the phonemes in a word seem (to non-locals) to bear no relation to the way it is pronounced, such as the British cities of “Leicester” or “Glasgow”.

Even Australian cities such as “Melbourne” seem to trip up some Americans. While to an Australian the pronunciation of Melbourne is very obvious, the different way that phonemes are used in America means that they often pronounce it wrong (to parochial ears).

Anybody who has heard a GPS system mispronounce Ipswich as “eyp-swich” knows this also goes both ways. The only way around this is to train the system in the different ways words are pronounced. But with the variation in accents (and even pronunciation within accents) this can be quite a large and complex process.

On the language-processing side, the issue is predominantly one of context. The example given in the opening provides an example of the state of the art in contextual language processing. But all you need to do is pay attention to a conversation for a few minutes to realise how much we change the way we speak to give machines extra context.

For instance, how often do you ask somebody:

Did you get my e-mail?
But what you actually mean is:

Did you get my e-mail? If you did, have you read it and can you please provide a reply as response to this question?
Things get even more complicated when you want to engage in a conversation with a machine, asking an initial question and the follow-up questions, such as “What is Martin’s number?”, followed by “Call him” or “Text him”.

Machines are improving when it comes to understanding context, but they still have a way to go!

Automatic translation

So, we have made great progress in a lot of different areas to get to this point. But there are still challenges ahead in accent recognition, implications in language, and context in conversations. This means it might still be a while before we have those computers from Star Trek interpreting everything we say.

But rest assured. We are slowly getting closer, with recent advancements from Microsoft in automatic translation showing that, if we get it right, the result can be very cool.

Google has recently revealed technology that uses a combination of image or voice recognition, natural language processing and the camera on your smartphone to automatically translate signs and short conversations from one language to another for you. It will even try to match the font so that the sign looks the same, but in English!

So no longer do you need to ponder over a menu written in Italian, or wonder how to order from a waiter who doesn’t speak English, Google has you covered. Not quite the USS Enterprise, but certainly closer!

Better connectivity has economic spinoffs for Africa

By Sunil Maharaj & Simon Barnes

Broadband has the potential to be an enabler for reducing poverty, improving education, promoting gender equality, improving health services, ensuring environmental sustainability and providing a platform for global partnerships for development.

By some estimates, a 10% increase in broadband penetration in low- and middle-income countries can result in a 1.38% increase in economic growth.

Africa has a long way to go before it can reap any broadband dividend. In 2014, only 19% of Africa used the internet compared to the world average of 40.4%, and Europe’s 74.8%.

Nor is the rate of broadband penetration growing at the speed it needs to. A recently released network readiness index shows that countries in the top 10% of preparation and use of broadband technology have seen twice the level of improvement since 2012 as those in the bottom 10%.

The installation of undersea cables, which connected countries on the east and west coasts of Africa via submarine cables, has led to great improvements in connectivity. But a great deal more needs to be done.

A 2015 estimate for the average percentage of households with internet access is only 10.7% for Africa – vastly lower than Europe’s estimated 82.1%. Even where there is connectivity, access is extremely slow. Some countries have a low one kb/s of international internet bandwidth per internet user.

This demonstrates the scale of the challenge facing developing countries seeking to develop the infrastructure, institutions and skills needed to reap the full benefits of improved connectivity.

Connectivity and economic growth

Broadband, or high-speed internet connection, is a 21st-century necessity for doing business anywhere in the world. And increasing evidence shows that countries effectively harnessing the use of technology are more successful at passing on economic benefits to their citizens.

Information and communications technologies can create economic opportunities, lower costs and raise productivity. They can foster social and political inclusion, ultimately contributing to shared prosperity.

Online marketplaces, such as Lending Club, allow borrowers and lenders to connect directly online. Big data makes it possible to compute a credit score for virtually every human being.

Perhaps one of the best examples of how the mobile revolution is changing financial services is M-PESA, the mobile-based money transfer system that was launched in Kenya and Tanzania.

In the education arena, the proliferation of massive online open courses allows people around the world to upgrade their skills, train, or re-train more frequently, more flexibly, and more cheaply than through traditional channels.

Technology is also allowing for a more direct interaction between citizens and governments.

Mobile as a driver of the economy

The number of fixed-line internet subscriptions has grown over the past decade but this seems to be slowing. Part of the reason for this may be that consumers are opting for mobile internet connections. Mobile internet is better suited to economies with low levels of fixed broadband infrastructure.

Mobile subscriptions have overtaken the growth of fixed line accounts. and they are still growing at a fast pace. By the end of 2013, mobile penetration reached 66% in Africa with almost 10 out of 38 African countries surveyed showing a 100% mobile cellular penetration.

This too is important for economic growth. In 2013, the mobile industry already accounted for 5.4% of GDP in sub-Saharan Africa. The potential for further growth aimed at capturing billions without access to the internet is immense.

And the mobile sector’s growth continues apace. Global mobile subscription growth in the first quarter of 2015 was driven by demand in Africa and Asia.

This indicates that there is still opportunity for growth in Africa, which should be encouraging for mobile operators.

Opening up of more radio wavelength is key to improving and increasing the reach of broadband. This will allow operators to roll out high-speed wireless communication services. These offer faster internet speeds, a key requirement for effectively doing business.

The speed of internet service has an impact on how quickly employees access their email or find important information. It also affects the quality of customer experience.

Most connected countries in Africa

Good policies, including legislation, can have a positive effect on better internet access. Kenya remains a shining example of this. The East African country liberalised its telecommunications sector in the late 1990s.

The Kenya Internet Exchange Point, which was created in 2002, acts as a local hub for traffic between broadband service providers and content providers without having to obtain them internationally.

These changes had a dramatic effect. The percentage of Kenyans with access to the internet went from 1% in 2002 to 39% in 2014. They also led to a drop in internet providers’ operating costs and retail prices. And the use of local content went up, which created jobs and new business opportunities.

Lower communication costs is enabling people to reach wider markets, making it possible for goods and services to be traded in a new way. For example, women’s groups in Tabaka, in the Gucha district west of Kenya, sell their soapstone artefacts to the world by taking digital pictures of their new products and posting them online.

Easier and faster access to email has enabled a firm that spins yarn and makes woollen products in Eldoret, west of Kenya, to establish and keep in contact with customers in Europe and the US.

The World Economic Forum’s ranking of how prepared countries are to apply the benefits of information and communications technologies placed Kenya 86th out of 143 countries surveyed.

But Mauritius stands out as Africa’s greatest success. The Indian Ocean island is the most connected country in sub-Saharan Africa. It ranked 45th out of the 143 countries surveyed – higher than Italy (55th).

Mauritius also scores well on affordability, with the second lowest broadband costs in the world. It is the only sub-Saharan African country to make the top half of the rankings.

The development of the technology sector has transformed Mauritius into a cyber island, providing a home to companies involved in data management, e-commerce and call centres.

Mauritius’ success shows there’s no reason why internet connectivity cannot transform the rest of Africa.

  • Sunil Maharaj  is Sentech Chair in Broadband Wireless Multimedia Communications; Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at University of Pretoria
  • Simon Barnes is a PhD Candidate, Sentech Chair in Broadband Wireless Multimedia Communications, Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at University of Pretoria
  • This article was originally published on The Conversation
  • Email TechFinancials.co.za at editor@techfinancials.co.za

New Nkandla parody on social media

By Staff Writer

The latest audio music parody is doing the rounds on social media and some have classified it as another hit for our President Jacob Zuma.

“Dawg when the Pres is gone and Nkandla remains, this hit will be remix by other dawgs,” said Gwyza.

Dika said: “The Pres is already listening to it and giggling to it. He hehe he.”

The name and source of the musical parody is not known.

 

Business Day editor Songezo Zibi, recently argued: “The Nkandla scandal is the tipping point at which SA must decide whether it is a real democracy with real accountability, or a fiefdom that has long prostrated itself at the feet of a personality cult headed by a president who believes himself to be an executive monarch.

“Nkandla is as much about a disregard of the law, as it is about the brazen display of the proverbial middle finger to anyone who thinks a democracy is not a dictatorship between elections. The signs are all there.”

Samsung opens new store at the Menlyn Park shopping centre

By Staff Writer

Samsung Electronics South Africa is opening a new brand store at the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Tshwane on 12 June 2015. In collaboration with retail partner, New World, the store will serve to enhance shopper experiences at the recently revamped complex.

Michelle Potgieter, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa, says: “Brand Stores inspire our consumers by providing direct access to our newest, cutting-edge technologies, enabling them to experience the devices first hand and gain further insight into the products from our team of knowledgeable and professional sales people and on site technicians.”

Michelle Potgieter, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa
Michelle Potgieter, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa

Samsung’s Brand Stores function as premium channels that offer the latest in mobile products, visual display, digital imaging, digital appliances and mobile communications, all in one location. Samsung has a number of Experience stores, Galaxy Stores for mobile products and solutions, as well as Customer Care Centers across the country.

In 2014, Samsung opened a Galaxy Store in the Menlyn Park shopping centre and the addition of this new Brand Store will add more value to the consumer shopping experience in Tshwane.

Each store offers demonstrations, expert advice and consultation, technical support and repair solutions, including a one-hour repair service on mobile devices.

The Menlyn Park Shopping Centre is a popular lifestyle destination, where a large shopping community enjoys premium dining, entertainment and leisure experiences. Mirroring Samsung’s own commitment to superb aesthetics and eco-friendly products, the centre boasts a combination of modern design architecture that utilises innovative green building material.

The Brand Stores complement an extensive partner network and serves to further grow the Samsung brand across the country.

Mix Telematics sees global reach as a huge asset

South African-based fleet management Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider, Mix Telematics, continues to rely on its global reach to remain competitive in a tough market.

The company – which in August 2013 listed on the New York Stock Exchange – delivered solid revenue growth, strong profitability and cash flow in the financial year 2015.

Mix Telematics grew its subscription revenue 17% to R998m in the year 2015, with the number of vehicles covered up 14% to 512 000. The company also ended the fiscal year with a bigger cash pile of R945m up fromR876m in the previous year.

Mix Telematics develops its fleet management solutions using a SaaS model in South Africa, where it takes advantage of savings on costs of hiring software engineers. In Europe and the US these professionals cost more.

Mix Telematics has offices in Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US. Thousands of South African customers rely on its stolen-vehicle recovery service, Matrix Vehicle Tracking.

“We were delighted to break through the half million subscribers’ level as few telematics solutions providers have achieved this type of critical mass,” says president and CEO of Mix Telematics Stefan Joselowitz. “We are winning important new business, as well as signing meaningful expansions with key customers. The penetration of telematics solutions overall remain at a paltry 10% of the global commercial vehicle fleet.

“Market research indicates that this penetration will likely double in the next four to five years. It’s for this reasons we believe our scale, our broad-based product portfolio and our global reach is a tremendous asset.”

MiX Telematics services customers in 120 countries and has an advantage of operating across six continents. It also has a network of more than 130 fleet partners globally.

“While this does expose us to somewhat more volatile economies, multinational clients are increasingly preferring to contract with a single vendor versus a dozen regional players,” says Joselowitz.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing, however.

Mix Telematics says is in a process of negotiating an “amicable exit” from its “disappointing” joint venture in Brazil with Sascar, which  was launched in September 2013. At the time the company indicated that the move signified its focus on increasing its market penetration and growth in Brazil and the greater Latin America region.

However, Mix Telematics is not giving up on Brazil.

Joselowitz says the move to exit the joint venture could “open up an opportunity to either go it alone or with a new partner”.

Mix Telematics management says it sees more growth opportunities in the Americas and has renewed big contracts with its global clients there.

As a result, the company predicts that revenue will grow up to 12.1% in the 2016 financial year.

Could it be the company is being dressing up by management in anticipation of a global suitor?

Mix Telematics is currently trading under cautionary stating that the company’s board is investigating strategic alternatives for the global firm.

Solidarity establishes crisis task team for Telkom’s retrenchments

By Staff Writer

Trade Union Solidarity announced on Wednesday afternoon that it has decided to establish a crisis task team to tackle the major retrenchments at Telkom, which is undergoing massive restructuring.

The task team will include top lawyers of the trade union as well as researchers, counsellors and financial advisors.

Solidarity said it will also launch a four-point plan to form the basis of its fight with Telkom.

Telkom’s plans include reducing its workforce by 4 400 through Voluntary Severance Packages and Voluntary Early Retirement Packages. Earlier this year, 724 employees have already accepted packages.

If this new target is not met, forced retrenchments will follow in July to attain the desired number. Another approximately 3 200 permanent employees will be transferred to other companies.

This is in addition to the 1 170 employees that have already been transferred through section 197 business transfer processes as several business portfolios within the company had already been outsourced.

Analytics without borders

Analytics (or rather deriving insights from data) is an emerging field in South Africa. Due to differing strategic views, lack of infrastructure, or lack of skilled resources, few companies have fully capitalised on the information available in their local markets, much less so in subsidiary markets. By Yudhvir Seetharam, head of analytics at FNB Business

Given both the emergence of the field, the first stab at getting analytics to grow would be to simultaneously ensure infrastructure is in place and hiring/retaining the skilled professional.

Secondly, businesses need to start thinking with numbers in mind – ensuring that reasoning, figures and insights play a significant part in the decision making process.

At least this trend is on the rise, with many stakeholders in financial service companies beginning to see the value in utilising data more effectively – moving away from the “traditional” service offerings into more holistic offerings, tailored to the customer.

With many South African companies looking to expand into Africa, data and analytics can be leveraged off the South African best practices to ensure smoother, faster and more efficient implementation in each subsidiary.

Analytics, while not near its full potential in South Africa, is arguably at a higher level of development compared to the rest of the African region.  As such, knowledge, skills and strategies derived from analytics in South African based banks can be extended, with some revisions, to African subsidiaries.

This form of collaboration can benefit both parties as knowledge sharing and experience permeate across borders. In particular, one might find data gathering to be “easier”, in the sense that one can start building processes from the ground up, enabling better management of data; and therefore analytics.

From a conceptual viewpoint, if something can be observed, it can be recorded and saved for future use.  With financial institutions expanding into subsidiaries, they are effectively “creating a bank from scratch”.

In order to do this, the most basic data has to be recorded and accessed to ensure smooth operations. Once that is in place, analytics can then assist with deriving insights from the data. Analytical ability may be relatively lower in some countries, but by leveraging off SA counterparts, knowledge sharing and training can occur.

This however can be seen as a double edged sword. A one size fits all approach does work for your simpler products – a cheque account is the same regardless of where you are in the world.

However, for more “periphery” products and transaction mechanisms, these need to be informed by the needs of the market.

For example, one can say that the SA population can be considered “online” savvy as opposed to “mobile” savvy.

However, in many African countries, this is the reverse. As such, SA strategies need to first develop a basic cheque account, similar to the local market, and then decide on new products and transaction mechanisms based on market and country analysis.

In my opinion, SA companies in general are still at the emerging stage of effectively utilising big data and analytics effectively.

While this maturity is different per sector (for example, telecommunication companies would be slightly more advanced than financial services), the increased attention on Big Data and Analytics has seen this buzzword being used in C suite conversations.

Telkom to retrench 7 800

As part of its turnaround plan Telkom is planning to retrench close to 7 800 employees within two months, according to Solidarity Union.

Telkom’s net revenue rose 3.1% to R26 billion and net debt slashed 92,8% to R151 million in the year to end-March 2015, paving the way for it to reward its shareholders with a dividend and a special divided totaling 245 cents per share

There are hurdles along the way as the firm deals with its cost cutting exercise, which involves staff retrenchments and outsourcing, plus intense competition in the market.

Trade union Solidarity questioned the scale of Telkom’s retrenchment plans that were announced on Tuesday. At an information session in Olifantsfontein on Tuesday, Telkom announced its plans to get rid of an additional approximately 7 800 employees within two months.

Telkom’s plans include cutting its workforce by 4 400 through Voluntary Severance Packages and Voluntary Early Retirement Packages.

Earlier this year, 724 employees have already accepted packages.

If this new target is not met, forced retrenchments will follow in July to attain the desired number.

Another 3 400 permanent employees contract workers will be transferred to other companies. This is in addition to the 1 170 employees that have already been transferred through section 197 business transfer processes as several business portfolios within the company had already been outsourced.

“In February this year, Solidarity warned that major job cuts were looming,” said Marius Croucamp, Head of Solidarity’s Communications Industry. “We have been pressurising Telkom since the beginning of this year to come clean regarding the number of people that will be affected and we are still questioning whether this drastic action will put the company on a sustainable path.”

The union announced that it will question each and every job cut that will specifically affect its members, and it will demand that these job cuts must be motivated at company level as well as at departmental and service level in Telkom.

“If Telkom carries on in this vein, an empty shell is all that will remain of the company, and the inadequate service delivery that we are already experiencing will worsen as it will actually be the skilled employees that will be deterred by this major uncertainty.”

Apartheid continues to cast shadow on equality of opportunity

By Patrizio Piraino

Countries with a more unequal distribution of income tend to have less economic mobility from one generation to the next. This relationship is often referred to as the “Great Gatsby Curve”.

Generational mobility refers to the extent to which individuals have the opportunity to succeed economically regardless of the background of their parents.

There is growing global evidence on the nature of this relationship as well as on unequal access to opportunities in general. This has helped shine more light on the continued persistence of inequality.

Comparisons between countries point to a number of factors that result in inequality being passed from one generation to the next.

South Africa makes an interesting case

Given its high and dogged levels of inequality, South Africa represents a particularly interesting case. It also has a peculiar, and tragic, history of systematic racial discrimination against the majority of its population.

Recent research shows a high persistence of earnings from one generation to the next. This means that it is as difficult as ever for the children of those who were disadvantaged before the end of apartheid in 1994 to break out of circumstances they inherited from their parents.

In addition, unequal access to opportunities remains high.

The white minority’s continued dominance

Unsurprisingly, race is shown to be particularly relevant for economic mobility and opportunity. White South Africans made up only 10% of the sample but they accounted for about 40% of the intergenerational income persistence. This is measured as the association between the income of one’s parents and one’s earnings as an adult.

This result is similar to the findings in the US, where African-Americans are persistently confined to the lower end of the income distribution. This generates a high proportion of the overall degree of intergenerational income disparity in the US.

Something similar may be happening in South Africa. The only difference is that the minority group is positioned at the top of the earnings distribution. In other words, a large part of the similarity of incomes across generations can be explained by the continued positioning of the white minority at the top.

More than earnings

The high persistence of earnings from generation to generation is an indication of unequal chances in the labour market. However, the achievement of equal opportunity does not imply simply getting rid of all sources of earnings resemblance between parents and children.

On its own, an intergenerational tie in the earnings of parents and children tells us little about the types of advantages passed from parent to child, or across generations.

Rather than pursuing the objective of zero correlation in the income of parents and their children, a better approach for policymakers might be to focus on those mechanisms that drive the transfer of advantage that seem unfair.

For example, most people would agree that family culture and ethics should be preserved. But some would regard wealth inheritance as less defensible.

There is one mechanism that is clearly unfair. It is the role of race in passing on economic status from one generation to the next.

Removing obstacles to mobility

Local and international studies point to obstacles that may explain the limited mobility and opportunity for the majority in South Africa.

First, virtually everyone agrees that family and public investments in early childhood development are crucially important. Early childhood conditions for most South Africans are far from optimal. This amounts to denying entire cohorts of low-income children a realistic chance to climb the social ladder.

Governments can adopt a number of early childhood interventions to remedy inherited social disadvantages.

The World Bank lists some relevant characteristics. These include: educating and supporting parents; delivering services to children; developing capacities of caregivers and teachers; and using mass communications to develop parents’ and caregivers’ knowledge.

Programs for children can be based at specialised centres or at home, can be formal or informal, and can include parent education.

Chances of economic success vary greatly across neighbourhoods. This is not simply a result of good neighbourhoods attracting individuals who would succeed anyway. This creates an obvious channel of economic resemblance across generations. It may be particularly relevant in South Africa where entire communities were moved under apartheid to designated areas.

Finally, nepotism and discrimination in hiring processes that determine access to good jobs may play a key role. This is one of the areas more consistently targeted by South African policymakers through, for example, affirmative action.

Being serious about effective policies calls for an appreciation of the various the ways that income inequality is passed on from one generation to the next. Increasing access to higher education institutions, for example, will not be as effective in promoting equality of opportunity if academic success is largely determined by human capital investments in early childhood.

MTN Half-Marathon postponed

By Staff Writer

MTN has postponed its 21 Days of Y’ello Care Half-Marathon planned for Saturday in Johannesburg due to security risks posed by the fading strike action.

A new race date will be communicated in due course.

Whereas MTN is delighted that the vast majority of the striking employees have returned to work, the company will leave nothing to chance owing to the violent nature of the industrial action over the past three weeks.

“MTN has the best interests of its stakeholders and the participants at heart and will not put their lives at risk. The current atmosphere is not conducive for the comraderies and festive spirit that this race is renowned for. We regret any inconvenience caused by the postponement of the race,” says Themba Nyathi, Chief Human Resources Officer: MTN South Africa.

Nyathi reiterated MTN’s commitment to resolve the labour dispute, and has called for the appointment of an independent arbitrator to adjudicate the matter in a fair and impartial manner.

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