14 May 2019
Minister of Communications, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
Deputy Chairperson of the Presidential 4IR Commission Professor Tshilidzi Marwala and Commissioners
And distinguished guests
Welcome to the department of communications. It is our sincere hope that over and above the mandate to disseminate critical information to South Africans , this department, in the 6th administration will be a driving force behind South Africa’s digital development. A critical component of that development should be driven by a capable and skilled work force, that is where you enter as Commissioners.
Everyone in this room was selected through the Thuma Mina lens, everyone in this room looked deep within themselves and said I have something to offer my country let me raise my hand and rise to the occasion. As a department we are grateful to yourselves for answering this call to be in a room which consists of the best amongst equals to drive our 4IR agenda as a country.
This room is filled with experts and individuals from all walks of life, precisely because the fourth industrial revolution leaves no stone unturned it affects people from all walks of life. I need not tell you how important this era is to our nation. It is our time to set the world alight but also and perhaps most importantly it is our best shot at truly transforming this nations economy and the lives of all South Africans for the better.
It is also our chance to change the continent for the better, as we sit and develop the nations 4IR blueprint, I urge you to think beyond the borders of South Africa, because, truly speaking, the 4IR doesn’t know any borders. Let us use this moment to leverage on the 1, 3 billion plus Africans as catalysts of new markets, new solutions, and to some extent lets use this moment in history to break the shackles of colonialism for all of us.
During your tenure as commissioners the President of South Africa, will be chairperson of the African Union, this presents the ultimate opportunity for South Africa to drive a continental agenda in so far as the 4IR is concerned. Let use this opportunity to take South Africa to Africa and AFRICA to the world.
As I conclude my brief remarks Minister I can think of no better way to sum up our task than to quote the much lauded Klaus Schwarb the founder of WEF , when he said “We must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social, cultural, and human environments. There has never been a time of greater promise, or greater peril.”
Let’s Grow South Africa Together.