UEL hosts 4IR Business Dialogue in Durban

12th November 2019

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Noluthando Makhaza

Companies who take time to recognise and advance their talent pool are the ones who will remain sustainable in this agile world, characterised by technological advancement and big data. This was the focal point at our final Business Breakfast for the year, which was recently held at the Durban ICC. Discussions were centered on one of the most trending topics in the country and the world – the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The event was successful and well attended by mostly senior managers in Human Resources, Talent Management, Information Technology, as well as entrepreneurs in various sectors.

The event was facilitated by Dr. Sonny Ako-Nai who is a lecturer at the University’s School of Management, IT and Governance, as well as Mr. Atul Padalkar who is an entrepreneur and the founder of a business incubation company – Bizfarm. “The future of work is very different because it now requires us to be more independent and self-deterministic. In order to survive, we need to change and shift our mindset and skillset. We need to figure everything out and make sense out of this ambiguous, volatile and complex kind of a world that we live in.” said Mr. Padalkar as he gave a brief background regarding the current and future effects of the 4IR.

These are interesting times, for what we thought to be far away in the future is now upon us. The fourth industrial revolution, which is characterised by new technological innovations – continues to change the way that we live and work. In line with the technological advancements, eThekwini Municipality has also recently unveiled its new state-of-the-art police vehicles at the annual Govtech Conference. These vehicles are fitted with cameras which are capable of reading a registration number while in transit, providing officers with the owner’s identity and information. These effects will, indisputably, be seen by most in the developed urban areas.

The two-hour session was impactful and unsurprisingly thought-provoking as our attendees felt that there is so much that still needs to be done in our country, considering the quality of our skillset as well as the basic and higher education curriculum, which have a huge impact on the talent pool. One of the attendees, Mr. Sanele Dlamini from National Lotteries Commission stated that as a country we need to be intentional about everything we do, especially if it concerns and affects the speed in which we develop and advance as a country.

“Having been to countries like Singapore and Dubai, I’ve had such an implausible experience. You’d be surprised how well informed the masses are, regarding every move that the government is busy with. These countries’ leaders are very much intentional about their economic development. In order for our country to grow and reap the benefits of the 4IR, our leaders also need to be intentional by setting targets and milestones based on our strategy, vision 2030, and National Development Plan, while these still need be understood at the bottom of the ladder of our economy” – said Mr. Dlamini

Such dialogues are necessary as the world changes and advances the methods in which we live and work at a very rapid pace. For if we do not catch on as a country, we will definitely be obsolete and consequently be left behind.

If you would like to remain relevant to where your workforce and employability needs are, you can enroll for our 1-day Introduction to the Fourth Industrial Revolution short course. For more information, kindly contact:

Nontokozo Mthembu

T: +27 31 260 3646

E: Mthembun4@ukzn.ac.za