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DOC to Develop Public Sector Strategy on 4IR

May 15, 2019

Department of Communications

15 May 2019

The communications department is to develop a strategy and framework for government that will enable every department and organ of state to forge their own plans to integrate the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) into their line functions.

The communications minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, revealed this during an address at the induction of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Legislative, policy and regulatory instruments will be prescribed to “ensure that government in its entirety is leap-frogged into the Fourth Industrial Revolution and is able to unlock value that is likely to exceed the projections of WEF”.

The minister added that government will also “set basic rules of the game through these instruments to manage the externalities of 4IR, distribute the benefits thereof and address structural issues of the markets such as curbing monopolies and making infrastructure rollout pervasive”.

According to the minister, the Commission is “mandated to advise government on policies, develop a framework for implementation of a multi-sectoral 4IR strategy; and coordinate, monitor and evaluate multi-sectoral initiatives that will position South Africa as a globally competitive player in 4IR”.

Critical enablers that the department is focusing on include digital infrastructure, integrated digital technology enablement, setting up an innovation society and a policy and regulatory regime.

In a nutshell, the department wants a “government-wide framework that not only focuses on migration towards digital technologies or digitising government services, but creating an enabling environment for government in its entirety to open up itself for technological innovations and digital solutions that not only enhance service delivery in all sectors, but ensure continuous endeavours to improve service offerings”.

The minister also announced that a Digital Economy Summit is planned for July 2019 at which the different sectors can start engaging on “some of the critical issues as we consolidate our vision of maximising the opportunities arising from the new technology and market context”.

As regards training on data science and related skills, MICT SETA will train 1000 young people on data science, cloud computing, 3D printing, cybersecurity, digital content creation, drone piloting and software development. Training will commence on 1 June 2019.