Investors must give South Africans an opportunity to make an input into the value chain so that it does not just remain the consumers of services, says Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
“If our people are not considered in the value chain, then the investments are not helping us. We take pride when investors give us an opportunity to participate in the building of their value chain and building profits,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said.
Addressing the Huawei Connect Unity launch in Johannesburg on Friday, she said when products are locally produced, government considers that as an investment.
“We are not going to achieve our targets if we allow investors to do everything by themselves. As government we want to reduce unemployment, we want to make sure that those who were previously disadvantaged get opportunities, we want to promote innovation amongst our people,” the Minister said.
Ndabeni-Abrahams emphasised the importance of investors supporting small businesses in the country.
“We want to build a community, part of creating a community talks to people being able to thrive economically that is why we put emphasises in terms of ensuring that we build and support small businesses,” the Minister said.
She said government has launched a programme that is aimed at training one million young people until 2030 in data science and related skills in preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“If we are to deliver the Fourth Industrial Revolution to people, we’ve got to ensure that digital transformation takes place and there can’t be any digital transformation without people being connected and without people being skilled,” the Minister said.
Ndabeni-Abrahams encouraged innovators to respond to the human factor as some people are scared that they will lose their jobs during the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“We’ve got to encourage innovators to come up with solutions that will respond to the human factor, therefore people will have no reason to be threatened by the robots.
“If we don’t build a capable army for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, that understands what skills are needed for the future and we invest in that, we are going to miss out,” she said.
Huawei CEO Spawn Fan said his company is committed to partner with government to build fully a connect South Africa in which all citizens and people in the country have access to the internet.
“We believe connectivity is more than just technology and it has the power beyond its ability to make calls, it’s also a fundamental for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Huawei believes connectivity brings equality, opportunity, unity and prosperity for communities,” Fan said. – SAnews.gov.za