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President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed members of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which will assist government in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital industrial revolution.
The task of the Commission, which will be chaired by the President, is to identify relevant policies, strategies and action plans that will position South Africa as a competitive global player. The Deputy Chair of the Commission is University of Johannesburg Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, whose expertise spans the theory and application of artificial intelligence to engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine.
In his State of the Nation Address to a Joint Sitting of Parliament on Thursday, 7 February 2019, President Ramaphosa said South Africa had chosen to be a country of the future at a time when the world was changing at a pace and in a manner that was unprecedented in human history. He said revolutionary advances in technology were reshaping the way people work and live.
“Unless we adapt, unless we understand the nature of the profound change that is reshaping our world, and unless we readily embrace the opportunities it presents, the promise of our nation’s birth will forever remain unfulfilled,” the President said. In the same Address, the President announced the establishment of a Presidential Commission on 4IR.
In establishing the Commission, a public consultation process was undertaken to attract eminent people who possess relevant skills and knowledge required to drive 4IR. The 30-member Commission, Chaired by the President, comprises eminent persons from different sectors of society and reflects a balance in gender, youth, labour and business including digital start-ups as well as digital entrepreneurships.
The commissioners (whose profiles can be viewed in an annexure at https://bit.ly/2ELYzQ8 ) are:
• Prof Tshilidzi Marwala (Deputy Chair)
• Prof Chris Michael Adendorff
• Ms Beth Arendse
• Mr Thulani Humphrey Dlamini
• Mr Abdul Razak Esakjee
• Dr Bernard Lewis Fanaroff
• Mr Michael Gastrow
• Mr Xolile Christopher George
• Ms Charmaine Houvet
• Dr Prince Senyukelo Jaca
• Mr Tervern Liaan John Jaftha
• Mr Mohamed Shameel Joosub
• Ms Marinda Kellerman
• Ms Nomso Kana
• Mr Baxolile Mabinya
• Mr Rendani Mamphiswana
• Ms Lindiwe Matlali
• Mr Calvo Mawela
• Ms Busisiwe Mbuyisa
• Ms Nomvula Mkhonza
• Mr Vukani Mngxati
• Mr Joseph Ndaba
• Mr Andile Ngcaba
• Dr Nompumelelo Happworth Obokoh
• Mr Rendani Praise Ramabulana
• Mr Leon Desmond Rolls
• Dr Sibongiseni Thotsejane
• Mr Gerhard van Deventer
• Mr Ben Venter, and
• Ms S’onqoba Vuba
Operational support to the Commission will be provided by a secretariat of officials of various national departments, led by the Department of Communications.
President Ramaphosa has wished the Commission well in its endeavours and has expressed his appreciation to commissioners for availing themselves to serve the nation in an important determinant of South Africa’s development trajectory in the coming years and decades.
Minister of Communications Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who is the coordinator of government’s 4IR programme, is due to convene an induction session with appointed commissioners, after which the Commission will have its inaugural meeting with the President.
Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to the President
Cell: 072 854 5707
Nthabeleng Mokitimi-Dlamini (Media Liaison Officer – Ministry of Communications)
Cell: 073 222 552
The Minister of Communications, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, today met with the task team working on the recapitalisation of the SABC.
The team sought to provide Minister with a progress update as she prepares to pursue Cabinet approval for the allocation of an SABC Government bailout. This will enable the public broadcaster to normalise operations and position it for a turnaround.
The task team comprises of senior officials from the Department of Communications, National Treasury and the SABC.
Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams appreciated the progress made and reiterated to the team that restoring the SABC’s financial sustainability is of vital importance as this will enable it to deliver on its public service mandate to inform, educate and entertain.
Further, noting the corporate governance issues emanating from an inquorate board, the Minister indicated that whilst Section 13 (1) of the Broadcasting Act of 1999 as amended, provides that "…non-executive members of the board must be appointed by the President on the advice of the National Assembly," she will, in terms of her shareholder responsibilities, continue engaging parliament to bring finality to this matter.
The Minister lastly reiterated her unreserved apology for the incident involving SABC journalists, amongst others.
ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS
Enquires: Nthabeleng Mokitimi-Dlamini on 073 222 5522