You have six days to get nominated for The Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution – and fix almost everything digital in South Africa

Business Insider SA
4th Industrial revolution
(Concept document on the establishment of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution)

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa, via his communications minister, on Thursday invited nominations for what will now be called The Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  • Nominations are due by Monday.
  • The commission, previously called the Digital Industrial Revolution Commission, has a long list of complex tasks ahead of it.

Nominees who wish to serve on The Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution have until Monday, 10 December to get their CVs in, communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams announced in a notice gazetted on Tuesday.

The commission, previously referred to as the Digital Industrial Revolution Commission, is one of President Cyril Ramaphosa's major policy interventions, which he has linked directly to South Africa's future prosperity as a nation.

The commission, Ramaphosa has said, must "ensure that our country is in a position to seize the opportunities and manage the challenges of rapid advances in information and communication technology".

It is now urgently looking for representatives of government, business, small business, academia, labour, young people, women, and NGOs, to serve at the invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa in an advisory position.

According to its terms of reference the commission, which is to be chaired by Ramaphosa, will meet only twice a year. But it will have to achieve rather a lot in those two meetings.

Between its terms of reference and a concept document underpinning its creation, the commission is being tasked with creating a "national response action plan" to deal with the fourth industrial revolution with a short-term focus on employment and a longer-term approach that must take into consideration everything from health to transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

Its specific jobs include guiding government's approach to :

  • a "national data policy" on e-commerce platforms and taxing electronic platforms
  • digital skills development and ways to reduce communication costs
  • digital literacy and innovations in school curriculums
  • making sure small and medium-sized businesses have a culture of entrepreneurship and access to funding
  • building confidence in government's systems and infrastructure.

The commission has also been cautioned that it "must not ignore the importance of biological technologies".

Details on the nomination process are available on the communication department's website.

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