Cyril Ramaphosa, President of SA, focuses on 4IR during his State of the Nation Address – March 2019 Newsletter

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a Presidential Commission on the 4th Industrial Revolution.

He made the announcement during his State of the Nation Address on Thursday evening (7 February 2019).

“To ensure that we effectively and with greater urgency harness technological change in pursuit of inclusive growth and social development, I have appointed a Presidential Commission on the 4th Industrial Revolution,” he said.

Ramaphosa added that the commission will serve as a national overarching advisory mechanism on digital transformation.

The commission will be comprised of eminent persons drawn from different sectors of society, he said.

“It will identify and recommend policies, strategies and plans that will position South Africa as a global competitive player within the digital revolution space.”

Liquid Telecom welcomed the news of the establishment of a Presidential Commission on the 4th Industrial Revolution.

“The Fourth Industrial revolution like Digital Transformation is on the agenda for every organisation in the country and also on the continent, we can see that education, skills development, jobs for the future are all being impacted by the proliferation of digital technology,” says Reshaad Sha, CEO Liquid Telecom South Africa.

“At Liquid Telecom we fully agree with President Ramaphosa’s decision to establish a Presidential Commission to explore the benefits of the 4th Industrial Revolution as we keep working towards our goal of ‘Building Africa’s Digital Future’.”


I would like to personally welcome each of the newly enrolled students to the course.

  • Jayson Serrao, Megaphase Trading, Johannesburg – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering.
  • Corrie Prinsloo, Spoormaker & Partners, Centurion – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering
  • Willem Coetzee, Spoormaker & Partners, Centurion – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering

Join me to wish the following students a very happy birthday!

  • Ross Sharp, Cape Town  3 March
  • Lianie Heyns, Cape Town  7 March
  • Warren Massey, Cape Town  7 March
  • Eric Ceba, Port Elizabeth  8 March
  • Hema Maskowitz, Cape Town  12 March
  • Martin Zuhlsdorff, Pretoria  12 March
  • Clyde September, Mossel Bay  14 March
  • Nadia Paul, Pretoria  17 March
  • Sivuyile Gala, Johannesburg  18 March
  • Andre Rosenschoon, Durban  20 March
  • Osmond Ngcizela, Mossel Bay  22 March
  • Abre Maree, Windhoek  23 March
  • Corrie Prinsloo, Centurion  25 March
  • Chandre Theunis, Cape Town  26 March
  • Thomas Hall, Johannesburg  26 March
  • Johan Swart, Pretoria  29 March
  • Willem Coetzee, Centurion  30 March
  • Lorraine De Bruyn, Pretoria  31 March

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The World Economic Forum (WEF), Davos Conference (22 to 25 January 2019)

The Fourth Industrial Revolution took center stage at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in January 2019 in Davos, Switzerland. The concept, the theme of Davos this year, refered to how a combination of technologies are changing the way we live, work and interact.

Prof Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the Geneva-based WEF, published a book in 2016 titled “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” and coined the term at the Davos meeting that year. He argued a technological revolution is underway “that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.”

Simply put, the Fourth Industrial Revolution refers to how technologies like artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and the internet of things are merging with humans’ physical lives. Think of voice-activated assistants, facial ID recognition or digital health-care sensors.

Schwab argued these technological changes are drastically altering how individuals, companies and governments operate, ultimately leading to a societal transformation similar to previous industrial revolutions.

The First Three Industrial Revolutions

Zvika Krieger, the head of technology policy and partnerships at WEF, told CNBC at the conference, there is a common theme among each of the industrial revolutions: the invention of a specific technology that changed society fundamentally.

The First Industrial Revolution started in Britain around 1760. It was powered by a major invention: the steam engine. The steam engine enabled new manufacturing processes, leading to the creation of factories.

The Second Industrial Revolution came roughly one century later and was characterized by mass production in new industries like steel, oil and electricity. The light bulb, telephone and internal combustion engine were some of the key inventions of this era.

The inventions of the semiconductor, personal computer and the internet marked the Third Industrial Revolution starting in the 1960s. This is also referred to as the “Digital Revolution.”

Krieger said the Fourth Industrial Revolution is different from the third for two reasons: the gap between the digital, physical and biological worlds is shrinking, and technology is changing faster than ever.

Telephone vs. ‘Pokemon Go’

For evidence of how quickly technological change is spreading, Krieger pointed to the adoption of the telephone. It took 75 years for 100 million people to get access to the telephone; the gaming app “Pokemon Go” hooked that many users in less than one month in 2016.

Pokemon Go app on an iPhone, Tokyo, Japan, July 22, 2016.

Companies in industries from retail to transportation to banking are vying to incorporate new technologies like augmented reality, 3D printing and artificial intelligence into their operations. A 2017 study by the European Patent Office found the number of patents filed related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution increased by a growth rate of 54 percent in the past three years.

“Technology, and specifically digital technology, is so intertwined with many businesses, as well as our social and economic lives, that trying to separate ‘tech’ from ‘non-tech’ is becoming increasingly redundant,” said David Stubbs, head of client investment strategy for EMEA at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, in an email to CNBC.

Left Behind

Companies, governments and individuals are struggling to keep up with the fast pace of technological change.

Krieger, who served as the U.S. State Department’s first-ever representative to Silicon Valley from 2016 to 2017, said technology is often missing from policymakers’ “toolkits.” As a result, he said, companies are left filling a void trying to understand how to implement — and regulate — advancements like A.I.

“There’s an absolute hunger for concrete things companies can do,” Krieger said.

Will robots take our jobs?

Jordan Morrow is the head of data literacy at analytics firm Qlik. He said individuals and companies lack skills, like interpreting and analyzing data, to successfully compete in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“Not everyone needs to be a data scientist but everyone needs to be data literate,” he said in a phone interview with CNBC.

Studies show technologies like artificial intelligence will eliminate some jobs while at the same time it will create demand for new jobs and skills in the technology and big data fields. Some experts warn of a “winner-take-all economy,” where high-skilled workers are rewarded with high pay, and the rest of workers are left behind.

A 2018 report by investment firm UBS found billionaires have driven almost 80 percent of the 40 main breakthrough innovations over the past four decades.

In 2016, Schwab predicted inequality would be the greatest societal concern associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“There has never been a time of greater promise, or one of greater potential peril,” he said.

It is generally predicted that the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” will continue to widen at an increasing pace.

Many of you are probably not aware of the fact that the use of Artificial Intelligence is already on the increase.  It is occurring in the banking industry where personnel numbers have seen rather dramatic declines over the last few years.  There is no doubt that as digital banking plays an ever more important role to keep clients out of the banking halls, Artificial Intelligence will play an ever greater role.  It is happening in other industries as well.

Industries around the world are making greater use of AI and robotics in the manufacturing processes.  They are more reliable than humans, are never absent from the work place and are able to work with incredible accuracy.


Before we know it, we’ll be a quarter of the way through 2019

I have so much planned for 2019 to make it the best year for our businesses ever.

Many may think that I am crazy, but I firmly believe that we are all the masters or mistresses of our own destinies.

I often grow weary when I hear people moan about everything under the sun about business, politics, people and our country.  One thing is so very certain, we can seldom directly change the things that we do not have control over.  It is also so very true when we are told that it is best for us to associate with positive people.

Stop to think about it for a moment.

We have blue sky and sunshine, beautiful landscapes and access to so many wonderful things.  When I watch TV and see people in the United Kingdom wrapped up in thick clothing during winter or in rain gear with umbrellas even in summer, it is a flash reminder to me, how very lucky we are.

I get excited every day when I read the latest lighting technology news.  Lighting is becoming such a real part of 4IR (the fourth Industrial Revolution) which is part of Industry 4.0.  I work tirelessly to stay 100% up to date not only in terms of the knowledge about the new lighting technologies, but also how to actually design using the technology and how to plan the implementation when the project has to be installed.

It never ceases to astound me at how poor the lighting knowledge of lighting representatives and professionals alike is and more staggering is how few are prepared to take bold steps to learn more. But nevertheless full marks to all professionals who have enrolled for lighting courses.

I have several strategies to help students manage their study time better.  A number of students have habitual excuses for not keeping to the study plan.  The old saying that “PROCRASTINATION IS THE THIEF OF TIME” is so very true.  In fact, it robs students of opportunities.  It is sad that those students in that category do not recognise that.

Most students are conscientious and stick to the study plan.  I encourage students to stick to the study plan to avoid incurring additional costs for modules not completed within the time allowed for both first and second year studies.

Join me in making 2019 the best year ever!


Contact BHA School of Lighting to discuss the courses best suited to advance the lighting education for your staff.

You will be amazed at how much value they will add to your business!

Philip Hammond

Mobile:  081-523 5374

E-mail:  phil@bhalighting.co.za


BHA SCHOOL OF LIGHTING – 2 MARCH 2019

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