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Industrial Development

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Future Industrial Production & Technologies


The new trend in industrialisation also called the Fourth Industrial Revolution is understood to change the way the modern world operates. It combines elements of the internet, robotics, machines, biotechnology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence to bring about smart factories that can manufacture goods with little to none human interference. See figure 1 on the re-shaping of industrialisation to the fourth industrial revolution.

Figure 1: (Click on image to view)

Although this new era in future production and technologies provide solutions to a spectrum of problems from supply chain management to climate change it has, however, led to a new set of challenges faced by emerging economies which does not necessarily have the technical skills required to offset the expansions in the manufacturing sector. The drivers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are expected to have significant impacts on jobs and widen the skills gap of unskilled labour.

Figure 2: Jobs and skills: migration, change and response

(Click on image to view)

The Industrial Development Division is creating human resource capacity, currently in the office of the DDG to determine the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the South African Industry. A Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy will be developed in conjunction with key private and public role players to address challenges and opportunities. Furthermore, a policy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be developed, including the roles of government, the private sector and labour and what interventions are required to make South Africa more competitive in the global economy.

The fourth industrial revolution is combining technology platforms of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things(IOT), Virtual Reality(VR) and Augmented Reality(AR) that will take the human-computer interaction to new levels. The future work environment is predicted as a world where man and machine will work side-by-side for mutual benefit and where technology empowers people, rather than pacifies them.

Contact details

For Fourth Industrial Revolution enquiries please contact Mr Theo Meintjes E-mail:




WEF - Shaping the Future of Production

"The Shaping the Future of Production initiative of the World Economic Forum has played a significant role in stimulating thinking regarding the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on production systems in South Africa. As a country straddling both highly industrialised as well as developing country systems the potential impact on our economy will be massive. If we do nothing as a government, our companies will rapidly lose competitiveness against better organised and better supported counterparts. If we embrace the new technologies and systems, the impact on our society and economy will be transformative. The Forum initiative is helping South Africa to grapple with the complexities of the potential impact and assist in crafting strategies to adapt and transform our companies". Dr. Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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