Earlier this week Communications Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, addressed the Presidential Committee on how her Department has begun to lay some of the groundwork in preparing for the Fourth industrial Revolution (4IR).
According to SA News, the Minister said that the most important priorities for government is to grow the economy and in the process ensure inclusivity. She added that digital technologies can generate more than R5 trillion in value for industries, consumers and society in South Africa.
“The department with the advice of the 4IR Commission will develop a strategy and framework for government, which will enable every department and organ of state to develop their own plans to integrate 4IR in everything they do, and ensure that the sectors in which they function align accordingly,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Furthermore the Minister said that government will set basic rules to manage the externalities of 4IR and also distribute the benefits and address structural market issues, such as curbing monopolies and making infrastructure rollout pervasive.
Adding that not only will the 4IR create jobs for citizens but will also ensure that the majority of citizens are active participants in the economy, specifically in research, innovation and production.
“We are making concerted efforts to assist government to gravitate towards certain obligatory steps, standards and principles that should provide guidelines for every government department to function within the realm of the 4IR,” she explained.
Some of the objectives the 4IR committee aims to meet:
- Develop an integrated country strategy and plan to respond to 4IR including detailed interventions to be carried out achieving global competitiveness of the key economic sectors such as agriculture, finance, mining, manufacturing, ICT and STI.
- Advice on technology research and development programme to advance 4IR.
- Advice on strategies for skills development and future of work.
- Making recommendations on enabling relevant infrastructure for SA to participate in the digital economy and make recommendations on an institutional framework and mechanism to coordinate 4IR programmes.