South Africa cannot deliver effectively in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) if there’s no digital inclusion, communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has said.
The minister, who was addressing the media launch for the Digital Economy Summit, also presented the 4IR South Africa (4IRSA) partnership in Johannesburg on Thursday, 11 April 2019.
The 4IRSA is a partnership between cellphone network, Telkom, and the South African Universities of Witwatersrand, Fort Hare and Johannesburg.
“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)?” Ndabeni-Abrahams said.
The partnership seeks to stimulate and facilitate an inclusive national dialogue to shape a coherent national response to the 4IR in South Africa.
“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 said.
Group chief executive of telecommunications giant Telkom, Sipho Maseko said the 4IRSA partnership might be the most important collaboration between the government, public institutions and the private sector in South Africa.
“Its potential impacts are transformative both economically and politically. Telkom is passionate about addressing today’s challenges to ensure tomorrow’s prosperity,” he said.
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