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4IR to come with low data costs

Written by More Matshediso

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) could come with lower data costs for South Africans.

According to the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, one of the key factors that come with 4IR is the engagement with mobile operators to reduce the high cost of data.

She says actual opportunities in 4IR include coming up with innovative ways to give citizens the ability to positively impact their lives.

In order to empower citizens of the country, the Minister says her department will bridge the digital divide between the digitally empowered on the one side and the digitally deprived on the other.

The 4IR can be described as the rise of the technological age, and will provide developing and emerging economies like South Africa, an opportunity to advance the application of science and innovation.

Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams says the role of her department is to lead South Africa’s response to the 4IR and developing policies and legislations that create an enabling environment. On the readiness to lead the 4IR in the country, the Minister says 4IR utilises converging technologies to design an all-inclusive human-centric future.

Her remarks follow the appointment of the Presidential Commission on the 4IR by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The 34-member commission was established to develop South Africa’s blueprint on the 4IR. It has eight workstreams which are led as follows:

  • Science, Technology and Innovation- Mr Thulani Dlamini
  • Infrastructure and resources – Dr Andile Ngcaba
  • Human Capital and Future World of Work – Ms Beth Arendse
  • Capital Markets and Financing – Prof Chris Adendorf
  • Commercialisation and Industralisation – Ms Lindiwe Mkhonza
  • Policy and Legal – Ms Charmaine Houvet
  • Socio-economic impact – Mr Rob Shutter
  • Integration, Programme Management and Communication – Ms S’onqoba Vuba