KZN banks on 4IR commission to build smart province

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 17 Oct 2023
KwaZulu-Natal premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
KwaZulu-Natal premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

With KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) positioning itself as a smart province, the provincial fourth industrial revolution (4IR) commission will serve as a catalyst in the march towards creating a thriving province.

This is according KZN premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, speaking at the inaugural meeting of the recently-established provincial 4IR commission.

The KZN and Gauteng provincial governments have taken a page out of national government’s playbook by setting up commissions, in an effort to drive their 4IR agendas.

In addition, the premier has been vocal about positioning KZN as a tech powerhouse, previously revealing a strategy to advance the province’s digital economy through building 4IR skills training hubs.

In a statement, Dube-Ncube says establishing the 4IR commission is a “good progression from the approval of the provincial digital transformation strategy by the executive council”.

The main objective of the provincial digital transformation strategy is to guide the province towards government automation, integration and digitisation of services.

According to the premier, the 4IR commission will help accelerate the implementation of the provincial digital transformation strategy, and gain insight from professionals within the ICT sector.

It also represents a step forward in the province's journey towards embracing the transformative power of technology and innovation, and bridging the digital divide, she states.

“We have assembled a distinguished group of experts, including innovators and thought-leaders, who will serve as the guiding force in navigating this uncharted territory. Their collective knowledge and wisdom will be instrumental in shaping our nation's approach to the 4IR.”

The KZN 4IR commission’s goal is to develop an integrated provincial 4IR strategy to achieve competitiveness in the key economic sectors, including agriculture, the oceans economy, finance, mining, manufacturing, ICT and electronics, tourism and business with science, technology and innovation, as a cross-cutting enabler.

The 4IR commission comprises the following members:

  • Dr Leon Rolls, chairperson of the 4IR commission
  • Professor Chris Adendorff, deputy chairperson of the commission
  • Langelihle Zulu, commissioner
  • Dr Stella Bvuma, commissioner
  • Dr Sibongiseni Thosetjane, commissioner

Rolls stressed the need for the 4IR commission to build hope for a better and smarter future for KZN, saying: “We must be a connected smart province with a thriving digital economy. The time for talking and unending learning from other countries is over. We are going to vigorously implement this strategy now.”