by Thabo Owen Mokwena

Publisher's Note

The digital revolution a propeller of future human kind

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My first encounter with the term ‘revolution’ was in the context of the French revolution, then the umzabalazo and I have subsequently been exposed to many other revolutions. In my youth, I invaded the study room of my parish priest, which was a taboo at the time, to my shock and amusement, I was blown away by the literature on revolutions.

This was when I was just starting high school, I wanted to peruse more of the literature, however time was not on my side, I couldn’t borrow any of the books nor declare knowledge of what I have seen, taking a copy without permission could not be contemplated since this was a holy place, also if found in possession of such material by the police, it could have been treason. I tried various tricks to get back into the study room but failed, instead I was given a book called Marx, Money and Christ as a substitute to reading about the revolutions.

The revolution of the cyberspace, otherwise also known as the fourth industrial revolution or the digital revolution, has taken centre stage as the propeller of future development of humankind. It promises to bring great benefits in the long run and vastly improve the lives of humanity across the globe. According to entrepreneurs and scholars alike, the digital revolution represents entirely new ways in which technology becomes embedded within societies, our daily lives and even our human bodies.

South Africa has the highest number of secure internet severs in the Africa and is ranked 3rd in Africa on the information and communication technology development index. Despite this, there are still challenges to individual access to the internet, access to broadband and mobile broadband subscriptions.

All over the world, industrial revolutions are ultimately driven by the individual and collective of the society. The need for intensifying the education and literacy levels of our society is an important driver of this revolution. But more importantly, our country must embed and assert itself in the knowledge economy. Key players in the digital revolution will still remain investors, consumers, regulators and citizens who adopt and employ these technologies in daily life.

The digital revolution comes with disruption that will lead to long run benefits. How South Africa manages the disruption is key to the survival of the economy and, more importantly, bridging the gap from poverty and inequality.

The real revolution to be fought and won is the digital revolution. In hindsight, I wonder if any of the literature at the parish was on digital revolution.

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