President Cyril Ramaphosa recently appointed 30 members to the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will assist the government in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by impending arrival.
In light of that Communications Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams launched the Digital Economy Summit together with the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa (4IRSA), which was held in Johannesburg earlier this week.
According to SA News, the Summit seeks to stimulate and facilitate an inclusive national dialogue to shape a coherent national response to the 4IR. The Summit also highlighted a partnership between Telkom, University of Witwatersrand, University of Fort Hare and University of Johannesburg aimed at complementing and supporting other national activities relating to 4IR.
“South Africa cannot deliver effectively in the 4IR if there is no digital inclusion, are our people able to communicate, is it affordable, are the services accessible, and are they available to our people because they are not meant for the elite,” said Ndabendi-Abrahams.
The Minister noted that in addition to the presidential commission on 4IR, work streams will be established to focus on skills and jobs for the future, as it is important to build capacity for the 4IR making sure that the workforce is ready for the revolution.
“As we unpack the critical components of 4IR, it is important that people are placed at the centre of the conversation. As government, this is woven into all our 4IR interventions and as such we have been deliberate in seeking collaborative efforts that build a capable 4IR army,” she added.
“Whilst it is important to address the challenges of our past, it is equally important that we prepare for a collective and common digital and technological future so that we can determine how it will impact us as a society,” explained Wits vice-chancellor, Adam Habib.
With the Fourth Industrial Revolution a subject that is top of mind for many in government, it is pleasing to see them partner with local tertiary institutions and other stakeholders in order to better prepare South Africa for it.
As such it will be interesting to see what this recently announced collaboration yields.