Adapt or die – Call for Eastern Cape to actively prepare for Fourth Industrial Revolution

Today I tabled a motion in the Provincial Legislature dealing with the preparedness of the province for the Fourth Industrial Revolution that is sweeping through the world.

(See Motion Attached)

The province needs to be fully prepared for the massive change that is already impacting on how we learn, how we communicate, how we work and how we govern.

The period referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution entails the converging of digital, physical and biological technologies. This period is characterized by fast-moving change which involves big data, automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and the internet of things, amongst others.

It has been estimated that globally 50% of jobs currently in existence will not exist by 2030 and the Eastern Cape is not immune from this. Already in many countries you don’t find petrol attendants, nor do you find cashiers in supermarkets

Recently were informed of Banks closing branches. This is just a small example of the impact of automation on jobs.

Over 4000 schools in this province do not have Wi-Fi.

The Eastern Cape has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 48,8% when one looks at the expanded definition of unemployment.

It is urgent that the Eastern Cape becomes fully prepared for the sweeping changes that are impacting on the world and on our shores.

I am therefore calling for this matter to be debated in the Provincial Legislature, and for the Office of the Premier to commission research on the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have on the Eastern Cape. I have also called for the report to then be tabled in the house for discussion and debate, so all departments can chart the way forward.

The DA is committed to working towards a better future for all people in the Eastern Cape and we need a forward-thinking government to create opportunities and lead this province into the future.