Communications Minister Stella-Ndabeni Abrahams engages with the creative industry on 4th Industrial Revolution Opportunities


Johannesburg, Friday 22 February 2019 – Today – the Ministry of Communications, led by Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana, hosted an engagement session with the creative industry under the theme, “Leveraging on digital platforms for Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Creatives.

The one-day engagement focused on broadcasting, audio-visual and new platforms, as well as the 4IR.  “The purpose of the engagement was to demonstrate and discuss the economic impact of digital platform optimisation by the creative industries. When we unpack the critical components of 4IR, we as South Africa have committed to putting the people at the centre. We must own and create our own futures by embracing technology, but we must not forget the human element” said the event host, Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams, adding that “it is imperative for the sector to find expression in the 4IR conversation”.

The engagement brought together various role players, including broadcasters, over-the-Top industries, internet players and telecommunications companies.  The session focused on amongst others:

  • Assessing the status of the creative industries within the broadcasting/audio-visual sector;
  • Exploring the contribution of the broadcasting/audio-visual communication sector to the creative industries; and
  • Engaging on the commercialisation of creative sector content on digital platforms.

Dr Brian Armstrong from Wits University’s 4IRSA initiative, which aims to stimulate and shape an inclusive and diverse fact-based dialogue on the impact of 4IR on South Africa, opened the proceedings by providing the audience with an overview of 4IR.

“We want everybody to have a discussion and understand the narrative about 4IR. It will affect everyone and the discussion therefore needs to be inclusive. We need these conversations to take coherent shape, it needs to be structured and diverse. It is important that we involve industry, government and associations,” said Dr Armstrong.

Also in attendance was Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu who articulated the importance and impact of 4IR on the Small Business sector in South Africa, “the world has entered into a revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, and relate to one another”.

“As South Africans it is important that we embrace these technological shifts and it also becomes important that SMME’s embrace the relationships between technological capabilities and entrepreneurial opportunities that these can create. 4IR is redefining how we function, as governments, business and society overall. We need to ensure that such dialogues are inclusive as they will inform policy direction for the betterment of all,” added Minister Zulu.

Government representatives from various departments, including Arts and Culture, Trade and Industry were also in attendance.