By Cas Coovadia, CEO, BUSA and Adam Craker, CEO, IQBusiness
Concerned about our sluggish economic recovery plan in the wake of the pandemic and frustrated by more loadshedding and a slow vaccine rollout, South Africans are looking for a beacon of hope to signal that the future is going to be better. Sharing these concerns and frustrations, IQbusiness and Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) are proud to announce the launch of SAtion, an initiative to move the country forward into economic recovery and digital growth.
SAtion will see stakeholders in the private and public sectors — including government, large corporations, SMMEs, industrialists, private investors, thought leaders, and educational institutions — convening to discuss, co-ordinate and implement Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) projects. In this way, the initiative will ensure that public decision makers and private sector entities are working together towards swift and sustainable economic growth in a 21st century context, rather than working against each other.
The growth envisaged by SAtion is enabled by technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), data science, cybersecurity solutions, rapid payments systems, online state-citizen interfaces and advanced hardware infrastructure. The implementation of these efficiency-enhancing tools will be underpinned by upskilling initiatives in formal education and will include assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs to take advantage of new technologies.
We believe that this approach to co-ordinated, broadscale digital growth is not only the best way to accelerate the growth South Africa desperately needs, but to ensure this growth is inclusive and sustainable into the future in a rapidly advancing — and ever more unequal — world.
“The transition to a digitalised economy is a critical element of the Economic Recovery Strategy document developed by BUSA through the B4SA platform. We consider SAtion to be the instrument and tool that is the beginning of this journey. SAtion will enable us to ensure a digitalised economy contributes to inclusive growth and the development of our people,” says Cas Coovadia, BUSA CEO.
“Our vision for South Africa to become a digital nation stems from the knowledge and awareness of the benefits that come with digital transformation. While times may seem tough now for our country and our citizens, there is an LED at the end of the tunnel,” Adam Craker, CEO at IQbusiness, says.
Leader of the SAtion ecosystem, Dimakatso Matshoga, says that “like any of the three prior industrial revolutions, SAtion intends to bring about vital change and socio-economic upliftment. SAtion will help ensure that the 4IR pragmatically supports black industrialists and entrepreneurs. In this way it will enable economic transformation through bridging the current digital divide.”
At this time when South Africans are deeply concerned about whether things are going to get better, or whether we’re going to be left behind in the global recovery process, the need to transform South Africa into a prosperous and fully-fledged digital nation is pressing. BUSA and IQbusiness remain committed to answering this call and are confident that the SAtion initiative will play a crucial role in the creation of a prosperous and digital economy in South Africa.
For more information on the SAtion initiative, please visit www.sation.org.za.