The Checkered History of Serge Belamant, the Pioneer Computer Geek

Serge Belamant was born in a place called Tulle in France. The year was 1953. When he was just 14, his family moved from France to South Africa. At this time, Serge had to learn a new language and adapt to new conditions in South Africa. English was the language of instruction, and he had no option but to embrace it, learning to read and write.

Serge adapted well and was admitted to Highland North High School in Johannesburg. He was a bright and outgoing student throughout his time in school. He excelled in rugby, athletics, and classwork. He became the house captain in the school in 1970. In 1971, Serge Belamant received the Victor Ludorum award and in 1972 was made the head prefect.

Apart from excelling in other areas, Serge was a good chess player who finished sixth nationally in the chess championships in 1972. He graduated later that year from high school and subsequently joined the Witwatersrand University. He enrolled for a course in engineering.

In the second year, Serge Belamant decided to switch courses, choosing to study applied mathematics and computer science. In the third year, he transferred to the University of South Africa to learn Information Systems. Serge, unfortunately, failed to complete his degree studies since his credit hours from the former institution could not be transferred to the new college. Serge was unwilling to repeat the course and dropped out of University at the age of 22.

He got a job at Matrix, which was a large engineering company. He later worked at a software company and with the IBM computers. While here, he invented new applications which could be used to analyze dam water levels throughout the RSA. He later again worked at the CSIR research organization. Serge Belamant was appointed to take charge of the Pretoria, Vereeniging and Witwatersrand road planning projects. This was as a result of his outstanding skills at work.

Serge led in making breakthroughs in digital mapping, graphic interfaces, and statistical methods. These inventions enhanced the road network analysis in South Africa. His many inventions have helped banks and financial institutions in the RSA make significant strides in their work.

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