DTI to support firms participating in Industry 4.0

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The DTI aims to support businesses actively participating in the fourth industrial revolution.
The DTI aims to support businesses actively participating in the fourth industrial revolution.

As part of its Workplace Challenge programme, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will over the next few years focus on supporting companies that are actively participating in the fourth industrial revolution.

This is according to deputy director-general of special economic zones and economic transformation at the DTI, Sipho Zikode, speaking this week at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Workplace Challenge in Mpumalanga.

The initiative is a two-year government intervention implemented among South African enterprises to improve their productivity and competitiveness, thereby ensuring sustainability of jobs.

It is also part of government's strategy to achieve economic growth and empowerment of entrepreneurs.

"As a department, we have witnessed the impact the programme has had on hundreds of companies that we have supported. The productivity, profitability and competitiveness of many companies have been increased. This has enabled them to contribute to the national government's objective of job creation."

The department has been offering the project to small, medium and micro enterprises since 1998. More than a 1 300 companies have benefitted.

It is an integral part of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), which is national government's blueprint for the industrialisation of SA, says the DTI.

"As a critical component of IPAP, the Workplace Challenge plays a role in ensuring we increase the industrial base of the country's economy in order to achieve notable growth.

"The programme goes a long way in decentralising this industrialisation in order to include all parts of the country, as well as broadening the participation of previously disadvantaged people."

Zikode's pronouncement echoes that of president Cyril Ramaphosa and his administration.

Plans are in place to establish a Digital Industrial Revolution Commission, which will include the private sector and civil society, to ensure the country is in a position to seize the opportunities and manage the challenges of rapid advances in ICT.

Also, speaking in July at the 10th BRICS ((Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit held in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said technologies of the fourth industrial revolution provide developing and emerging economies with the opportunity to leapfrog that of previous revolutions.

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