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Presidential Commission on 4IR Report on Track

January 8, 2020

Department of Communications and Digital Technologies

8 January 2020

The Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution remains on track to submit its final report in January 2020.

The Communications and Digital Technologies minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, confirmed this during a media briefing in December 2019 on the department’s state of readiness to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

The Commission was set up in 2019.

The Commission, chaired by president Ramaphosa, is tasked with identifying relevant policies, strategies and action plans to boost South Africa’s competitiveness in the 4IR.

The setting up of the Commission was announced during the State of the Nation Address in Parliament in February 2019.

The minister also pointed out that, in order to support the Commission, the “department is finalising the appointment of the Project Management Office which will comprise of a team of research experts in various fields such as data science, digital transformation, telecommunications and internet policy, law and economics; amongst others”.

Other steps underway include finalizing a Data Policy for South Africa, finalising the Smart Communities Framework, consolidating Sectoral Masterplans, finalising the Digital Industrial Strategy, developing a Digital Skills Strategy to be tabled before cabinet for approval, repurposing SITA to create a State IT Company and merging Sentech and Broadband Infraco to form the State Digital Infrastructure Company.

The minister also indicated that the department will speed up the repurposing of the Universal Service Fund into a 4IR Fund.

“The department will also develop a model for smart regulation which will include the amalgamation of ICASA, Film and Publication Board and ZADNA; and explore new funding mechanisms for the new regulator.”