Draft plan on 4IR expected in October - communications minister

The first draft of the Presidential Commission's blueprint on the Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to be released in October, according to Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

The minister was speaking at an event hosted by Brand SA late last week. She announced a Memorandum of Understanding with multinational technology company Cisco. A total of R140m will be invested in South Africa over three years, to help develop capabilities for 4IR.

Continuous plans

The presidential commission was appointed in April this year to develop a plan for 4IR through a coordinated approach. "This not a government initiative, it is a societal initiative," Ndabeni-Abrahams said.

"The presidential commission's first draft will come out in October," she said. Given the pace of changes in the technology space, the minister said that there will continuously be "plans" for 4IR.

Responding to a question about the need for spectrum to enable 4IR, Ndabeni-Abrahams but government is being careful with the pace at which it rolls out spectrum to ensure the benefits of it can be shared by all.

"4IR will be enabled with 5G… but we need to look at the ecosystem of 5G," she said.

South Africans should derive economic value from releasing spectrum, she added.

Ndabeni-Abrahams added that there needs to be an overhaul of legislation to keep up with changes in the technology space. In her keynote address she lamented that tender processes are far too slow.

"We can't do things the way we have in the past, we are a 25-year-old democracy and we have missed the other three revolutions," she said.

ZAR/USD
17.42
(-0.58)
ZAR/GBP
22.89
(-0.74)
ZAR/EUR
20.69
(-0.64)
ZAR/AUD
12.61
(-1.12)
ZAR/JPY
0.17
(-0.61)
Gold
2066.30
(+1.51)
Silver
29.05
(+8.23)
Platinum
1000.00
(+3.85)
Brent Crude
45.33
(+1.67)
Palladium
2212.63
(+2.24)
All Share
57656.69
(+0.05)
Top 40
53350.88
(+0.13)
Financial 15
9888.41
(-0.41)
Industrial 25
76178.50
(+0.02)
Resource 10
60086.05
(+0.49)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 913 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
74% - 6066 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
15% - 1237 votes
Vote