Cyril Ramaphosa vows to establish a digital revolution commission

13 Mar

It’s no real secret that South Africa is lagging behind when it comes to full digital industrialisation. This is easily seen when you compare the country with its international counterparts. Consider that SA has to grow at around 5% each year in order to create jobs and keep the economy growing. One then has to wonder why digital, which is one of the most lucrative industries in the world, has been largely untouched by Africa.

All this is about to change as Cyril Ramaphosa, our new President, vows to establish a digital industrial revolution commission.

What will the digital industrial revolution commission in SA do?

Industry leaders believe that the purpose of the commission will be realised in totality. The commission has been designed to act as a driving force behind digital acceleration in South Africa. It will be tasked with ensuring better co-operation between policy makers, private enterprise and the government.

The main purpose of the commission will be to stimulate digital skills development, entrepreneurship and digital enterprise, while ensuring that there is a regulatory environment in place to keep everything on track.

The digital industry will lead to job losses if SA doesn’t get on board

It’s a bit of a double-edged sword for South Africa whilst it still lags behind in terms of digital. While the evolution of the industry could cause a massive loss of jobs in the next few years, there is also the potential for the industry to create even more jobs. Unless South Africa gets on board and starts learning the skills required, the country could very well get left behind and lose out on this major job creating opportunity.

With improved digital tech, many industries in the country can immediately benefit. Some areas where SA is noticeably behind due to a lack of embracing digital tech includes the manufacturing, health, transport, hospitality and retail industries.

Cloud computing marks a turning point

With increased use of cloud computing on a global scale, the way data is used, shared and leveraged is changing. South Africa simply cannot afford to be left behind in a part of technology that is shaping operational efficiencies.

There are many opportunities for growth in the digital industry if the country focuses on developing skills in the digital environment and also looks at reducing the over-priced connectivity costs. Hopefully Cyril Ramaphosa’s new commission will take a look into this!

Skills development is a particular challenge for South Africa. It’s time for big business to embrace digital or face the fact that they will lose customers to companies who are able to meet customer needs.

What do you think of the proposed digital commission for South Africa? Do you think the country will get on board, learn the skills and thrive in the digital market? Let us know your thoughts!

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