Yesterday the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature took a historic step in adopting my motion, with amendments by the ANC, dealing with the preparedness of the province for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The thrust of this motion is to ensure that the province is fully prepared for this new period, which entails the converging of digital, physical and biological technologies and is characterised by fast moving change involving big data, automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things, amongst others.
The motion, with amendments, was adopted unanimously and is the first proactive step taken by the Eastern Cape Legislature to prepare for the consequences of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The Eastern Cape 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.
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. The recent threat of a strike in the banking sector had strong undertones of how digitalisation and adoption of new technologies has impacted on jobs.
This is especially relevant for the Eastern Cape, which has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 48,8% when one looks at the expanded definition of unemployment.
It is vital that the province prepares for the sweeping changes that are impacting our world, and the adoption of this motion is a step in the right direction. Leaders need to see beyond the “what now” and be able to focus on the “what next”.
The Democratic Alliance is committed to a forward-thinking government that will create opportunities out of these emerging technologies and lead this province into the future.