President appoints Commission on Fourth Industrial Revolution

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 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.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa