Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana: Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute

8 August 2019

Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana Keynote Address : The Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute,08 August 2019

Good morning to the:
Programme Director : Miss Lesego Maphopha
Head of Marketing XH Smart Technology Africa: Ms Jackie –Lee Rowland
MD XH Smart Technology Africa: Mr Jack Chan
H.E Counselor, Consulate General: Ms Ni Lingling
Entrepreneur and Philanthropist: DJ Sibusiso Leope
The Founder and Director of the Faith Mangope Technology & Leadership Institute: Miss Faith Mangope
Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is an honour to speak to you today, on this very proud day for not only Faith Mangope and her partners, but also for South Africa.

As an advocate for women empowerment, and an agent for youth development, I am particularly proud of what this institute stands for and what it intends to achieve.

The 4th industrial revolution, as we all know, involves the adoption of cyber-physical systems like the Internet of Things and the Internet of Systems. As South Africa faces Industry 4.0, with all its complexities and the incredible impact it will have on all our lives, starting with the future of work, and the way we earn a living, an institute like the Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute, is getting us ready to move into this future with knowledge and skill.

The 4th Industrial Revolution is largely driven by four specific technological developments:

  • high-speed mobile Internet
  • AI and automation
  • the use of big data analytics
  • and cloud technology

Of these four technologies, AI and automation are expected to have the most significant impact on employment figures within the global workforce. I recently read a study by McKinsey which reports that approximately one fifth of the global workforce will be impacted by the adoption of AI and automation, and if we apply that to Africa, where manual labour, menial work tasks, and the informal sector, make up a significant portion of our economy, then our stats could be potentially higher. This same report states that by 2030 robots will replace 800 million workers across the world. While this number can be seen as concerning and worrying, the 4th industrial revolution is happening TO us, not BY us, so we need to turn our fears of the future into practical actions to meet the outcomes of this rapidly changing world. But … how do we do that?

Any 4IR master will tell you that overcoming the challenges of 4IR are about 3 things :

  • Creating the necessary infrastructure for optimisation
  • Encouraging everyone, irrespective of age, to build knowledge about the changes in every aspect of our lives, especially our livelihoods and careers
  • And then, developing our skills in line with the skills that are needed in the future

Every one of us will be faced with the challenges of changes in our work and jobs, let alone our daily lives, nobody is alone, but every one is also equally faced with the opportunities that it potentially brings, IF we are willing to build our knowledge and upskill ourselves. An old adage says that “knowledge is power”, and when it comes to the 4th industrial revolution, this could not be more true. Once we know more, we can do more, and be more.

The Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute gives people the opportunity to KNOW more and DO more, and therefore be able to BE more ! The 4th industrial revolution is also referred to as the next great frontier, for good reason, as it will create more opportunities, once we overcome our challenges, of having new skills in automation, digitisation, and information technology, without forgetting soft skills, or referred to as POWER skills.

We must always remember that the key objective of Industry 4.0 is to be faster and to drive manufacturing to be more efficient, with the main technology used in the context of Industry 4.0, is cyber-physical systems. This will forever change the way in which economies relate to each other in the global market. Currently, the 4th industrial revolution is underway at various stages across the world, and while countries like Germany, China, India, and US are just a few who lead the list, I affirm that we will NOT be left out of the global village. We need to fly South Africa and Africa’s flags high when it comes to running the 4th industrial revolution race, which is a marathon and not a sprint.

Faith Mangope is a young woman who has MADE opportunities for herself. She has embraced challenges and overcome them with education, class, and sheer determination. As a young black leader, she is a point of pride for South Africa, and adding this institute to her long list of achievements, is an indicator of the global change agent she is. She personifies the statement of : ‘girl child, you can be everything and anything you want to be.”

I am proud to endorse and support this institute as it purports my own vision of the empowerment of women and youth in the era of the 4th industrial revolution.

Malibongwe!

Year: 
2019
Speech date:: 
Wednesday, October 2, 2019