The global hype of the fourth industrial revolution has swept up the country. During the 4th Industrial Revolution SA Digital Economy Summit in Midrand July 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “South Africa must embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and harness the opportunities it offers in order to eradicate the biggest challenges society faces.”
In hopes of tackling some of these issues, Old Mutual has hosted a business breakfast themed ‘Opportunities Through Leadership and Innovation In The Age Of Disruption’, at Monte Bello last Thursday to delve deeper into the topic of 4IR.
Dave Mohr, Chief Economist of Old Mutual, said before tackling the topic, he did a bit of reading and research. He gave a brief history of the all the industrial revolutions we have gone through, before delving on what this has meant for economies.
“I realised that there were major macroeconomic disruptions or disruptors during this period they call the third industrial revolution, which apparently was from 1969 till very recently. Be aware of the global economic disruptors in the world; be aware that South Africa follows the world trends. Looking into South Africa’s future, we start off by looking into the world and that gives you a good clue of where we are going,” said Mohr.
Johan Coetzee, Senior Lecturer in Banking, School of Economics and Finance at the University of the Free State, shed more light on how the 4IR would impact the future graduate. “The problem here with graduates is that all they want is that piece of paper, and that is not good enough. You’ve got to be able to apply it and if you think you are going to finish your studies after a three-year bachelor’s degree, you’ve got the wrong mind-set. You are entering a world where there is continuous learning, and this continuous professional development is going to become part of your way of living. Those will be the graduates that will become successful,” said Coetzee.
Ronald Gall, Managing Director Africa at Claim Central Africa, looked at how the 4IR could be used improve our social lives. “Over the last five years, building our digital assets across Australia, South Africa the Middle East and North America, one thing we realised in all those different markets was that as good as you can make that technology and as easy and as seamless as that is, if your consumer doesn’t feel the empathy that comes with the day-to-day interaction with a human, they are eventually going to separate themselves from it,” said Gall. – Seithati Semenokane