10 April 2019
The Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has been set up.
In a statement, the presidency indicated that the Commission will “assist government in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital industrial revolution”.
The Commission, to be 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 president had called on South Africa to embrace the opportunities presented by the 4IR.
“Unless we adapt, unless we understand the nature of the profound change that is reshaping our world, and unless we readily embrace the opportunities it presents, the promise of our nation’s birth will forever remain unfulfilled,” the President said.
The Commission consists of 30 members including “eminent persons from different sectors of society and reflects a balance in gender, youth, labour and business including digital start-ups as well as digital entrepreneurships”.
The Commission’s terms of reference was published in Government Gazette 42388.
The telecommunications and postal services department will coordinate the work of the Commission.
The Commission’s mandate includes developing an integrated national strategy and plan to respond to the 4IR, advising on strategies to enhance South Africa’s global competitiveness, advising on a research programme to advance 4IR, advising on the skills development and future of work, recommending enabling relevant infrastructure for South Africa to participate in the digital economy, recommending on approaches to address inclusivity and the digital divide and recommending on interventions to enable entrepreneurship and SMMEs to take advantage of the 4IR.