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htxt.africast – Ecommerce and the widening digital divide during lockdown

It’s yet another week of coronavirus-induced lockdown for South Africans, but the africast  is here once again. Recorded remotely because we’re responsible podcasters, of course.

Starting off this week is some short news segments beginning with Zoom. The videoconferencing platform has had massive gains in the past few months with so many needing to connect while at home, and the South African government is no different. It hosted a committee meeting on Zoom this week, which is all well and good, but it also tweeted out the ID and password to the public. Oops.

Our other two news stories include Andy Serkis (pictured above with a 1:1 scale Sméagol statue) who is live streaming a 12-hour read of The Hobbit to raise money for COVID-19 efforts in the UK.

Finally we look at Uber which has seen a significant blow to its financials due to COVID-19 and less of a need for ride sharing at the moment. The Eats division of the business has seen a surge though, and could be its saving grace moving forward, but it’s still too early to tell.

The big ticket item this week is ecommerce. Online stores and services have been operating in a limited capacity during the South African lockdown, but it’s been rough going, both for the customers and the businesses. With government offering up vague rules and regulations at best, it’s up to the rest of us to puzzle things together without invoking the law. We’ve also given some of the operating ecommerce platforms a try to see how they perfoem, with similarly mixed results.

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