Policy options for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Policy briefs
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2020
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.Gastrow
KEYWORDS: FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, POLICY FORMULATION
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11171
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15119

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Abstract

South Africa ??? through partnerships encompassing the government, business, academia, labour and civil society ??? has embarked on a process of developing a national strategy and plan of action for harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to drive its human and economic development. This policy brief contributes to national efforts by presenting a policy options framework to inform the deliberations of the government and its social partners. It proposes alignment with national norms and values (such as combating unemployment, poverty and inequality) as well as alignment within and between policy domains. The framework puts forward a set of strategic focus areas that inform cross-cutting strategies (such as artificial intelligence [AI] strategies and public-sector innovation plans) as well as initiatives led by specific government departments (for example, research and development strategies led by the Department of Science and Innovation). This policy brief outlines four core strategic focus areas aimed at (1) strengthening adaptive capabilities, (2) leveraging technological change, (3) building skills and technical capabilities, and (4) directing policy towards developmental outcomes. It concludes by reflecting on, and recommending, potential structures for consultation and co-ordination in developing a national plan of action for harnessing the 4IR.