June 2021 2nd Edition

Seda helps technology company grow

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

As South Africa embraces the Fourth Industrial Revolution, government is helping companies in the technology sector with the skills they need to flourish.Khaya Cokoto is running a successful business thanks to the assistance she received from the Small Enterprise Development Agency.

X Spark ATx, a Centurion-based software and app designing business, is one of the companies that received assistance from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda).

The company creates and designs software that other businesses can use in their day-to-day operations.

“The apps enable our clients’ customers to buy products, order services, receive benefits, book appointments, contact them directly and much more,” says X Spark ATx co-founder Khaya Cokoto.

Cokoto and her business partner Sapho Maqhwazima started their company in 2007 at an incubator run by Seda in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).

It also offers cabling, video and animation and drone operating services.

She says drones will increasingly become the technology of choice for a number of operations, including surveys.

“We provide qualified, up-to-date pilots with high-powered, high-altitude quad-copters for surveys, aerial footage and event video shoots.”

Seda helped put the company in touch with other players in the sector, which resulted in X Spark ATx relocating to Gauteng to gain access to more clients.

“When we started, we only had one computer, two chairs and R30 000, which I had saved up. Now we have a team of 10 that ranges from designers to developers,” says Cokoto.

The company also received assistance in developing and marketing its UmoyAir free-call advertising system, which enables users to make calls without using airtime.

“UmoyAir is a cross-network, free-call platform, with user and advertiser incentives,” says Cokoto.

She explains that a call can be made by dialling a free USSD code or using the UmoyAir app on smart phones.

“Dial the UmoyAir short code or use the UmoyAir app, listen to the short advertisement, dial the person you wish to speak to and enjoy your free call.”

Cokoto says the company was hit hard by the Coronavirus Disease and would not have survived had Seda not stepped in and advised it how to market its products during the pandemic.

“When companies once again started to need information and communications technology services, we were there to offer our expertise. This saw our company grow,” she adds.

For more information about Seda’s programmes, visit www.seda.org.za

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