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President Ramaphosa meets with 4IR commission ahead of report's release

The commission is expected to advise government on innovation and co-ordinate the development of the national response action plan to deal with the advent of different technological changes.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday afternoon met with the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution ahead of the release of its report on policies and strategies, among other plans.

The commission, which was established in 2019, is expected to advise government on innovation and coordinate the development of South Africa’s national response action plan to deal with the advent of different technological changes.

And as the global community and the country’s way of life and world of work transformed even more rapidly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is expected to produce a single blueprint which brings together all different elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the country.

When commissioned to resume the work last year, the committee also had to develop an integrated national strategy and plan to respond to these technological advancements and changes.

There remains a great debate in the public discourse about what the wave of changes within the digital paradigm would mean for humanity with a broad consensus that it had productivity potential, with others – especially unions -concerned about its labour replacing potential.

The commission’s report will include detailed interventions that should be carried out by all social partners, including business and government, in key economic sectors including finance, mining, manufacturing, and science.

Last year, the International Labour Organisation released its report on the future of work in light of the 4IR, stressing the need for a people-centred approach that would ensure adequate living wages for workers and guaranteed social protection.

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