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Local is lekker with new laptop

Written by Kgaogelo Letsebe

A young entrepreneur  is creating an affordable, entry-level laptop for South Africans.

Mpumelelo Mahlangu (27) is taking on international laptop brands as he prepares to launch the first entry-level South African-made laptop.

Born and bred in Soshanguve in Gauteng, Mahlangu started working on his prototype laptop, called Dot Connect, during the hard lockdown in 2020.

With no formal qualification, but ample experience in telecoms, electronics and information technology, Mahlangu says he wants to create a laptop that will make a difference in people’s lives.

“My inspiration came when I realised that with schools closing, movement restricted and many people working or learning from home, the average South African would be left destitute.

“It reminded me of struggling to get through varsity without a laptop and having to depend on internet cafés and computer labs." 

He saw a gap in the market and came up with a solution to create an entry-level laptop, a product all consumers would be able to afford.

Mahlangu says Dot Connect Electronics, the holding company, aims to manufacture and service the laptops locally.Mpumelelo Mahlangu is the brains behind the first entry-level South Africanmade laptop.

“We don’t have a South African-made laptop or TV. We want to penetrate this market and ensure product quality, affordability and job creation.”

As an entry-level laptop, Dot Connect will be able to perform basic day-to-day tasks, such as running programmes like Microsoft Office.

“The device is suitable for browsing the internet and media streaming for an average student. Those who do programming, engineering and graphics will need a more advanced device.

“Dot Connect will have 64GB storage, 128GB dual hard drive, SSD port, 14-inch screen, 400mah battery and a 6GB RAM,” says Mahlangu.

Once launched, Dot Connect is expected to retail for about R5 000.

“The launch date has not yet been announced. One has to do a number of tests to ensure product compliance before it can be registered or accredited by sector education and training authorities and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa," explains Mahlangu.

He is waiting for feedback from the relevant authorities.

“Our strategy is to be more competitive in price, design and specifications, and create a different way of doing things.”

Mahlangu says it is time for the youth to dream big.

“Always put your head in the game and never allow people to pull you into their negative atmosphere. Most people who always have something to say, know very little,” he adds.