South African industry will have to focus on developing its skill base in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) should it wish to participate in the fourth and global industrial revolution.
Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, stated on Tuesday that with the existence of an ever-growing global village, ICT and innovation elements will underpin the future growth and development of South Africa.
“If we are to dream of a brighter future for our country, it is essential that training in ICT and business development become integral in our education system. That is the best way we can cultivate the landscape for the prosperity of future innovators,” said Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, on Tuesday.
This came as part of the National Development Plan (NDP) Youth Ambassador Masterclass in Branston earlier this week.
According to the Minister, South Africa has the biggest potential to enrich live and demolish poverty through the development of ICT skills to create jobs for the youth.
The potential of the ICT industry is a source of positive news for South African youth, as they remain the hardest hit by the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. The latest statistics indicate that 48% of South African youth are unemployed.
Minister Radebe said these are some of the challenges that must collectively be addressed with the urgency they deserve.
“We must raise a new generation of young people that will not be job seekers but job creators. We need innovative young entrepreneurs who will play a significant role in the renewal of our economy. Entrepreneurship is a fundamental endeavour for economic emancipation.
“It is our local innovators and entrepreneurs who will ultimately create the millions of jobs that we need to grow in order to have an inclusive economy.”
An estimated 65% of children entering primary school today will most likely work in roles that do not yet exist according to the Minister.
“We must expose the youth to as wide a variety of technological innovations as possible. Any initiative that seeks to empower the youth is an investment towards the future of our country.”