The Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa

Topic: Social & Political Theories
Words: 2290 Pages: 8


The Fourth Industrial Revolution made a breakthrough not only in the economy but also in social services, technology, and information technology, as well as the medical and political aspects of the life of nations. Its main goal was to use innovative technologies in the field of informatics to improve the quality of services for people in various areas, namely in the previously mentioned vital branches that interact with people. The main techniques on which the most significant stake is placed among innovative technologies are Augmented reality and the Internet of Things (Tavis Deryck Jules, 2017). These technologies are only in their early stages of development. Still, there are already countries that are trying to incorporate them into other areas of life in order to automate and improve working conditions and human interaction. Among them is South Africa, which is the subject of this paper.


The idea of such a solution was born in 2015 when technology development was at a reasonably high level but did not allow for the introduction of such a system at the time. The reason for this was both the already mentioned not fully ready technological aspects and the countries that could not afford to finance such projects (An, 2018). In addition, many countries were against the idea of innovation because their development lagged far behind other nations on earth. For this reason, the idea had to wait for a few years and given time to implement past projects to improve the livelihoods of the inhabitants of lagging states.

Current Situation

Nowadays, there are also a number of states that are not ready for such revolutions in such essential for them to medicine or sociological spheres of human life. Since there are fewer such countries compared in 2015, the project began its implementation. In the case of the first two countries, their funding fully covers the need to implement information systems in their territories. At the same time, Indonesia has the technical capacity which makes it the leading country in the field of information technology.

Problem Review

Concerning the development of this kind of technology in South Africa, it is worth noting that this country is the most developed on its continent. However, even with this status, it is not able to fully implement all the opportunities offered by this program (Butler-Adam, 2018). The main problem faced by this country is both financial and logistical. Since South Africa is a significant exporter of valuable resources to other countries, it has some financial help. However, these are still not enough to cover the total costs of developing and implementing such systems. Also, geographically, shipping this kind of equipment is expensive, and the country is a long way from the leading countries. Thus, it can be said that despite the problems from a financial point of view, the logistical issue also has a strong influence on the stabilization of this model of interaction in the African region.


In solving these problems, it is necessary to take into account others that are directly related to the development of information technology in this region. In addition to the already mentioned economic and logistical issues, there is also a social one. It is primarily related to the conditions of life in South Africa, which are very different from those prevailing in the rest of the world. Despite the decent development of medical services, it is still experiencing severe problems due to the lack of qualified personnel (KSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems, 2016). This affects not only the treatment process but also the training of future specialists. It is not possible to solve this problem at the present time because both equipment is suitable for the specific purpose and teachers who will be interested in the advancement of science in this country are needed.

Main Advantages and Disadvantages

Each of these problems must be solved at a moderate pace with care and a vast number of assumptions and risk calculations. It must be kept in mind that such an essential system for implementing information technology into the lives of ordinary people is an incredibly complex process. All the more so given the challenges the South African government may face. It can be ordinary discontented people and conservatives who oppose any change, even if it is for the public good (Shaikh, Bisschoff and Botha, 2018). Therefore, when drafting possible scenarios to solve these problems and stabilize the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the emphasis will be on the sociological aspect, as it will be critical, and the analysis of people’s perception of this technology directly affects the final result of the project.

Different Sectors Scenarios

The solution to the economic problem will prompt changes in other areas that are, in one way or another, related to the realization of the new technological revolution. It will be some time before all the possibilities to improve and promote such technologies are available. The solution to the financial problem could be simple but very effective. It is necessary to involve investors in the development of the technological revolution in the region, which will allow for profits for both the investors and the people living in South Africa (Terblanche, Moeng and Macleod, 2018). Above all, it is worth bearing in mind that this form of ownership cannot be state-owned for the first time because it would discourage potential investors and make it unprofitable to do business in the region (Scheers, 2018). Concerning his possibility, the necessity to make an open network for the promotion of the Industrial Revolution project and to pay out some finances from the users of these privileges, namely from those who will use the technology involved for personal and commercial purposes, appears. In this way, it will be possible to sell subscriptions to services that are now popular worldwide. Capital investors will also pay a percentage from the sale of such investments.

The disadvantage is that shareholders and innovators of this idea may encounter a skeptical population. Residents will not be happy to pay for services that may be free to them from the state, which will create competition that cannot be profitable for both sides. In this regard, the proposed marketing move, which will be based on the thesis that the use of advanced technologies, will also show their ease of use and broad functionality. This will put the population on the side of private entrepreneurs and cause good growth in the economy. Since the money problem will be solved, other issues will be solved in time.

Regarding potential ways to deliver all the necessary equipment, it should be noted that the cost of transportation may be too high. Since the distance at which the new project will be built from the other countries involved is exceptionally long and there is no direct road or rail connection, the two remaining options are transportation by sea and air. To begin with, it is necessary to establish a country with which there will be close cooperation in terms of bringing technology into the country. (Reitz, 2019) The ideal option seems to be Indonesia. Despite the distance, it has excellent maritime connections, and also, as mentioned earlier, the technological process of Indonesia has made this country one of the best in the world. After establishing labor relations, it is necessary to determine the product delivery method. The best solution would be delivery by ship because, despite the amount of time it takes, it will save a lot of money compared to air. At the same time, it is necessary to consider the state of infrastructure in South Africa. Despite the developed air industry, the maritime connection is at a more advanced stage of development and allows you to count on quality cargo delivery and delivery throughout the country.

Of the disadvantages, it is worth noting that this process should be negotiated by a quality and certified specialist who has experience in this kind of arrangement. Unfortunately, South Africa does not have as many diplomats who fit these categories, which makes it involve investors again. (Nath, 2018) These people will be most interested in supplying the necessary technical support and will be looking for a way out of such a situation. However, it is also worth making sure that this kind of deal is done with the participation of representatives of the country. It is essential to understand that business abroad can have many risks, so every stage should involve a South African representative to ensure contract guarantees.

The institutional sector can also be subject to change because of the introduction of new technologies. Doing any business in another country is very risky and requires familiarity not only with the details of business contracts but also with the peculiarities of the region. African culture is very multifaceted and is still poorly understood (Daemmrich, 2017). Therefore, when installing new technology in South Africa, first of all, it is necessary to get acquainted with all the possible difficulties in cultural terms. For this purpose, it is recommended to involve experienced people, historians, geographers, and cultural scientists. These people can advise on how different the region is from what potential investors are used to.

The main reasons to consider these characteristics are reputational risks and the impact on the political arena and employee relations. Speaking of the first case, it is also worth considering that at the early stage of development, reputation plays a significant role, as it directly affects the success of the project and its financial value (Görçün, 2018). In the case of good reviews from residents of the country where the project is developing, public attention will be increased, which will allow you to count on the expansion of the staff of investors. A more significant number of people means the growth of shares and, consequently, the possibility of expansion within one country and in other regions. This is important because it allows better working conditions for other software developers who help bring the technological revolution to the locals.

Speaking of employees, it is also worth saying that this kind of work requires qualified people who have experience working with such devices and know how they work. Unfortunately, in South Africa, there are practically no such specialists, as this country is not technologically developed (Park, 2018). In this regard, there is a problem of staff shortage, which can have a significant impact on the overall development of the project. Regarding the geographical location of this country, it is worth concluding that hiring employees from neighboring countries is not possible due to the fact that the entire region can not cover the necessary number of staff involved in the development of this kind of technology.

As an alternative, you can use the employees of other countries, which are far away. However, there is also the question of the advisability of traveling so far in search of work in a region where living conditions are far from what we are used to. For this purpose, it is necessary to find a compromise with such employees (Ahlers and Boender, 2018). The more lucrative contracts and bonuses at their signing can help promote negotiations and persuade them to move to permanent work on a new project. Thus, it is necessary to attract the attention of specialists to the new project, which will develop as you go through a number of stages.

It is also a plus to train locals to work in this field. Constant communication and experience in the enterprise will have a positive impact on the overall level of development of the revolution itself, as well as on the personal growth of each employee (Schwab and Davis, 2018). In this way, it can be formulated that the general opinion that the recruitment of new qualified personnel will help stabilize the work without significant risks and will also have an impact on the development of this kind of science on the whole continent (Farrelly, 2018). It will allow counting on more experienced employees in the future without the need for higher-cost contracts.

Considering this issue from a political point of view, it should be mentioned that, like any big business, it affects not only the development of the project itself but also the reputation of its owner. The public image of the company’s representative, which is engaged in its development, depends on the conditions in which the company grows and what characteristics of the employees are taken into account there. This is an excellent opportunity to show yourself as a good politician and entrepreneur in one person. In this way, the image acquired in building and establishing his business will be projected onto the individual, allowing him to use it in his political views. Also, the essence of the project itself plays an important role, as it is aimed at helping the development of an entire country. This is considered a charitable act, which also raises the rating of trust in the eyes of the world public and can build relationships with the leaders of world states. Thus, having your own business and establishing a production line can be obtained in addition to income and a good influence in the global political arena.


As a result, despite the many problems that exist in South Africa and do not give this country to develop in technological terms, all of them can be solved with the help of a competent and gradual approach. Economic, social, health and social are massive obstacles to becoming a successful business. However, with a transparent model of understanding, the proper calculations, and a good strategy, it is possible to create a stable system and prove that any state can be advanced in scientific and digital terms despite the distance and cultural differences.

Reference List

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An, S.O. (2018). The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Direction of Mission. Journal of Youngsan Theology, 44, pp.313–341.

Butler-Adam, J. (2018). The Fourth Industrial Revolution and education. South African Journal of Science, 114(5/6).

Daemmrich, A. (2017). Invention, Innovation Systems, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technology & Innovation, 18(4), pp.257–265.

Farrelly, T. (2018). EDUCATION FOR A SUSTAINABLE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. Tạp chí Nghiên cứu dân tộc, (21).

Görçün, Ö.F. (2018). The Rise of Smart Factories in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Its Impacts on the Textile Industry. International Journal of Materials, Mechanics and Manufacturing, 6(2), pp.136–141.

KSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems (2016). The Internet Information and Technology Research Directions based on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 10(3).

Nath, S.S. (2018). Impact of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Tạp chí Nghiên cứu dân tộc, (23).

Park, T.W. (2018). From the Fourth Industrial Revolution to the Fourth Shared Revolution. Studies in Philosophy East-West, null(87), pp.321–346.

Reitz, D. (2019). Doing business in South Africa. Johannesburg: Deneys Reitz.

Scheers, L. van (2018). Strategies of global recession for small business enterprises in emerging markets: Case of South Africa. Journal of Business & Retail Management Research, 12(02).

Schwab, K. and Davis, N. (2018). Shaping the fourth industrial revolution. Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum ; Crown Business.

Shaikh, A., Bisschoff, C.A. and Botha, C.J. (2018). Measuring management and leadership competencies of business school educated managers in South Africa. Journal of Business & Retail Management Research, 13(02).

Tavis Deryck Jules (2017). The global educational policy environment in the fourth Industrial Revolution : gated, regulated and governed. United Kingdom; North America: Emerald.

Terblanche, B., Moeng, P. and Macleod, G. (2018). Starting your own business in South Africa. Cape Town, S.A.: Oxford University Press Southern Africa.

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