For the digital revolution to make a dent in South Africa’s unemployment, it has to provide work for a wide range of skills, with a particular focus on lower-skilled South Africans, says South Africa in the Digital Age (SADA). SADA is an initiative set up to develop a forward-looking economic strategy in the digital age. It is a joint venture by University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), Genesis Analytics and the Pathways for Prosperity Commission.
Its core mandate is to answer the question: what are the income-generating opportunities for South Africans in the digital revolution? The group has published a report which maps out several pathways for the country to create income-generating work in the digital age, detailing the practical actions required. One such pathway entails unlocking demand for low-skilled labour through digital platforms.
Whilst global platforms such as Uber, Airbnb and Amazon are the most prominent, there are upwards of 90 digital platforms operating in the real economy in South Africa (i.e., facilitating the exchange of tangible goods, services and labour). At least half of these have been developed locally, it said.
As we stand to lose thousands more regular jobs during 2020, and even with the advent of AI and 4IR which may lose more jobs, these digital platforms become crucial. With fewer and fewer people buying newspapers, digital again becomes more crucial to connect sellers with buyers.
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#^How to get low-skilled South Africans into jobs
For the digital revolution to make a dent in South Africa’s unemployment, it has to provide work for a wide range of skills, with a particular focus on lower-skilled South Africans, says South Africa in the Digital Age (SADA).