Kathy Gibson at the Gauteng Provincial Government Technology & Innovation Conference – There is a danger that the opportunities brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be limited to a few, and fail to change the lives of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Naledi Pandor, minister of science and technology, says we need to use the opportunities presented by technology to address the challenges that confront our country.

“They must benefit particularly the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society, not to mention the whole continent of Africa and the developing world.

Technology and innovation challenges us to imagine solutions in a different way, Pandor says.

“But if we appropriate the approaches, interventions and solutions that many in the developed world are appropriating — they may not provide us with the responses we need in our circumstances.

“We need to ask ourselves a different set of questions: how do we take advatnage of these developments to address our most intractable problems.

“We have to pose that question because, if we don’t, what will happen is that many of us will be part of these emerging technologies, taking advantage of the opportunities — but the lives of the most marginalised will remain the same.

“So you will have perhaps millions of us engaged in opportunities, but there will be billions who are excluded,” she adds.

“So it is fundamental that we ensure that what is happening is really part of a radical and fundamental alteration in all people’s lives.”