South Africa: Govt Provides 4IR Training Opportunities

15 September 2020

The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies is making progress in meeting its commitment to provide training opportunities for young people in fields such as robotics, data science and artificial intelligence.

A total of 135 learners have completed a 12-month Data Science course, which is a partnership between the department and the Media Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICTSETA).

"The current partnership with MICTSETA emanates from a budget vote commitment we made in 2019/20 to train 1 000 unemployed youth in different Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) related skills as the country enters the digital era, amongst these being the success of the Data Science skills development programme we are celebrating today," said the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Addressing the handover ceremony for the certificates on Tuesday in Pretoria, the Minister said the country needs Data Science skills to harness the power of data and come up with predictive models that will enable departments to mitigate risks, reduce costs, increase revenue, and optimise limited resources.

"The Presidential Commission on 4IR recently made its recommendations to the President on the adoption of 4IR technologies to improve the upward trajectory of our economy and country.

"Critical among those recommendations is to build human capacity in the areas of 4IR, including Data Science. This is exactly what we aimed to do with this pilot Data Science programme and other 4IR programmes," the Minister said.

She encouraged the graduates to look at the impact that data has on people and societal problems.

"...Always ensure that whatever you create is for the benefit of all and not just a select few. Beyond the data science skills that you have acquired, it is essential that you become well-versed in the business operations and processes of the industry that you will work in," the Minister said.

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