KZN rolls out 4IR skills and technology development bootcamps

Thursday, December 15, 2022

In a bid to empower youth and ensure that they are equipped to participate meaningfully in the digital economy, KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube has aggressively embarked on the journey to drive the province as one of the technology hubs of the country.

Dube-Ncube attended the second day of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Skills and Technology Development Bootcamp held on Wednesday at the Archie Gumede Conference Centre in Mayville.

The two-day bootcamp saw 280 learners, including eight inmates from Westville Correctional Services Centre, being trained in various skills, including cyber security, data analytics, robotics, coding, broadband and e-sporting.

Since assuming office in August, Dube-Ncube has prioritised the implementation of the Connected Smart Province Project, as part of accelerating the digital revolution and has aggressively embarked on the journey to catapult KwaZulu-Natal as one of the country’s technology hubs.

Speaking to the youth at the bootcamp, the Premier said the provincial government wants to ensure that the province moves at the required pace in terms of implementing the Fourth Industrial Revolution as the new frontier of economic growth and the pillar on which industries of the future will be built.

“Our view remains that if we let the opportunities brought about by the 4IR miss us, we risk putting the future of our next generation into bleakness. This is a reality we can no longer postpone because it will have dire consequences for our development prospects.

“The sky is not the limit for the youth in our province hence we are creating an enabling environment for them to have the skills set and entrepreneurial acumen to be part of the multi-trillion dollar digital economy,” Dube-Ncube said.

She added that the provincial government is now rolling out bootcamps in all the districts where they are fast-tracking skills and technology development in the 4IR space among young people.

“We want the young people gathered here today to help create smart solutions to solve daily challenges such as using smart technology to find missing bodies that were washed away by the floods in April this year,” Dube-Ncube said.

The first 4IR bootcamp, which was held at the Durban Exhibition Centre in November benefitted over 450 young people.

Mobile digital skills lab

Meanwhile, as part of putting the province on the 4IR digital path, the Premier recently opened a Mobile Digital Skills Lab in Pietermaritzburg, which is being used to train young people in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics.

The Premier said the programme will be rolled-out to all the districts in the province.

She said 20 young people are currently on training, with 75 more being recruited for laptop and cellphone repairs, so that they can be empowered to open their own businesses.

Dube-Ncube firmly believes that the Fourth Industrial Revolution must contribute towards growing the provincial economy.

“For this to become a reality, the province is investing in advanced Information Technology systems and infrastructure to benefit all citizens, more especially rural and township communities. –