South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has announced that the province is at the cutting edge of innovation and positioning itself to be a digital technological hub and the Fourth Industrial Revolution capital of South Africa.
Premier Dube-Ncube was speaking today during the Digital and Future Skills National Conference taking place in Umhlanga under the theme “Digital Skills: A Cornerstone for a Digital Economy”.
“Since August 2022, we took a bold decision that we refuse to be left out of this giant technological, economic revolution of the future. We have decided to move the Province of KwaZulu-Natal into the future, understanding that most of the current jobs will be rendered obsolete in the near future by automation. Skills that are considered important in today’s workforce will either disappear or change drastically. Therefore, we have then taken a policy decision to drive the Smart Province through the Fourth Industrial Revolution programme in order to equip our people with the skills required to operate and develop new technologies,” said Premier Dube-Ncube.
Among the objectives of the conference is to establish, galvanize as well as strengthen partnerships in the area of digital and future skills in South Africa. It also seeks to create and stimulate interest in Digital and Future Skills while highlighting the Fourth Industrial Revolution as an enabler to critical skill sets required for the future.
“The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council has already approved the KZN Digital Transformation Strategy as part of digitization and the building of a Smart Province. We are intentional about making the implementation of digital technologies all-inclusive. This is being done through close partnerships with all government departments, state-owned entities, businesses and citizens within the province. As part of the digitization journey, the KwaZulu-Natal Office of the Premier developed the Nerve Centre Optimization Strategy with an accelerated implementation plan,” said Premier Dube-Ncube.
The Premier stated that one of the positive consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic has been to force the speedy implementation of online systems. Internally, the Office of the Premier has successfully implemented the e-Leave, e-Submission, Operation Sukuma Sakhe Incident and Case Management Systems, Premier Hot-line Phase 1. The Office of the Premier also migrated to Hybrid Cloud capabilities such as Office 365, Exchange Online and Teams. The migration allowed for online survey capabilities and hybrid meetings and webinars to continue.
Premier Dube-Ncube has also directed the Human Resource Development Council to focus on the following priorities, namely: Early Childhood Development; Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics; Worker Education and Building the Capacity of the State.
“At least 16 Special Schools have been provided with Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) to promote e-learning, and 26 schools are already implementing the pilot robotics and coding curriculum. The launch of the first Mobile Digital Analytics Skills Laboratory last month and over the coming months will expose school children from an early age as well as youth to the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. Young people must start working today on the technology of Robotics, Drone Technology, Mechatronics and other technologies of the day. We are creating an environment where innovation is nurtured and supported through providing the relevant Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies,” said Premier Dube-Ncube.
The Premier emphasized that through the KZN Digital Transformation Strategy, the province must be among the global regions in technological advancements with a realistic opportunity to lead the country as far as digital transformation is concerned.
“No one must be left behind, and our government will make greater use of digital technology to achieve openness, transparency, engagement, and informed decision-making while delivering integrated services to citizens and businesses. We must leverage the extensive undersea cables in our province so that our people benefit from this infrastructure. We are aiming at building a SMART KZN, which is a province of smart cities, smart towns, and smart villages were driven by smart people,” concluded Premier Dube-Ncube.