For Mboweni's growth plan to succeed the ANC has to give up certain dogmatic positions that were formulated when 7% growth was the status quo, writes Adriaan Basson.
The implications of a changing future world of work lie beyond the insomnia of business people. The accelerated automation of work threatens employment and the social contract underpinning society, writes Deidre Samson.
The big, bad, much-touted Fourth Industrial Revolution is
truly with us. Driverless cars, delivery drones and robots, and digital
assistants making dinner reservations are all a reality and no longer science
The writing is on the wall. Despite the best efforts of
Donald Trump, the world continues to globalise and China continues to rise as a
power. Changing demographics herald a new world with different values,
consumers and marketplaces.
What has not changed significantly, however, is the way work
is structured. We still have rigid hierarchies and layers of management while
the employee participation movement of the 1970s has failed to deliver on its
READ: Clem Sunter - A tale of two centuries: How different they are
Gary Hamel, a global strategist, considers management to be
the greatest invention of the 20th century, but he concedes that it
has not evolved in line with the promise of inclusiveness, transparency and
connection created by the internet.
If we accept the architects' maxim that "form follows
function", new digitally disrupted and enabled organisations require new
sources of "form". This means we need to rethink work, who performs
it and how it is structured.
A trend that cannot be ignored is the ever-increasing use of
consultants, outsourced partners and contingent employees, the so-called "Road Warriors"
or "Digital Nomads" of the modern era. These people constitute a
significant portion of the value-add of a business. Yet, they are not reflected
on organisational charts, with HR turning a blind eye to the crucial role they
is that in today's hyper-competitive world, organisations need to be
agile, drive down costs and access the best possible talent, irrespective of
whether employed, contingent, outsourced or part of the emerging gig economy.
This requires a structural backbone, enabled by technology, which differentiates
the important jobs to be done and integrates them in a seamless, aligned
Businesses that innovatively rethink organisational design
in a digitally enabled world are those who will enjoy a sustainable form of
competitive advantage going forward. But, where are the innovative thinkers who
will design the new "fit for purpose" organisations? This is a
question that should keep us awake at night.
The implications of a changing future world of work lie
beyond the insomnia of business people. The accelerated automation of work,
physical and cognitive, threatens employment and the social contract
South Africa, with its fragile society and high rates of
unemployment, is at risk. Accenture believes this country needs to double the
speed at which workforces acquire relevant skills for this new era of work.
Achieving this could reduce the jobs at risk from 20% (3.5
million jobs) to just 14% (2.5 million jobs). Being able to build these skills
faster than other countries introduces the possibility of South Africa gaining
significant competitive advantage and growing employment by remotely importing
work and jobs (Creating South Africa's
Future Workforce 2018, Accenture Consulting).
With our current education system this is a tall order – the
magnitude of which should make it a national priority.
Yet, all is not gloom and doom. There are indications that
South Africa could benefit greatly from the increased consumption benefits of its
youthful population, or what the economists call our demographic dividend.
ALSO READ: Mamphela Ramphele - How long will we eat the future of our children?
The ageing populations of Europe and Japan pose huge economic
threats to these economies. With too many old people who rely on welfare
benefits and too few young consumers who pay tax, growth becomes a pipedream.
The youthful makeup of South Africa's population is a
glimmer of hope that cannot be ignored. But it is a two-edged sword: If we are
not able to create sufficient gainful employment, we face the prospect of
social unrest led by youth with no vested stake in a system that does not
Will our youth be equipped for employment in the new digitally
enabled world? This is our $64 million question.
- Deidre Samson is a futures consultant and new knowledge market executive at the Institute for Futures Research (IFR), a unit for strategic foresight at Stellenbosch University.
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
All the latest flicks in SA cinemas right now!
Choosing the brightest body colour isn't necessarily a good thing. Here's why...
Boys make up part of the 41 583 rapes committed in SA over the 2018/2019 period.
Teens are pledging to not have children until governments address climate change.
Mercedes-Benz have now upgraded its GLC with a host of new changes.
Getting scammed isn't cute.
We'll keep you in the loop!
Culprits could face 4 years in prison
Western CapeFull Circle Contact Centre Services (PTY) LTD
Cape TownTop Vending - Nespresso
Western CapeThe Building Company
R 11 800 000
R 5 250 000
R 8 400 000
We subscribe to the Press Code.
You choose what you want
News24 on Android
Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.
Terms and Conditions
24.com Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012
Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.
This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.