Key Opportunities and Challenges for 4IR in South Africa

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) can involve changes that range from minor adjustments to the features of products, to the creation of new sectors and technologies that transform how the economy operates and how people’s daily lives are structured. 4IR is spreading around the world at different paces. This fourth and concluding paper in SARChI Industrial Development Working Paper Series WP 2021-8 provides insight into two key questions. The first is, ‘What are the barriers and opportunities for South African firms related to 4IR?’ To answer this question, the paper presents a set of key drivers, opportunities and challenges.
To guide action on identified opportunities and challenges, relevant recommendations that have been developed through a variety of recent publications are included. To answer the
second question, ‘What are the risks and opportunities for South Africa as 4IR spreads?’, this paper considers the effects of the spread of 4IR systems on South Africa’s economy,
environment, and employment and presents a variety of perspectives that have been shared by key stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Johannesburg
Number of pages63
ISBN (Electronic)9781776303892
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesSARChI Industrial Development Working Paper Series
NumberWP 2021-8d


  • 4IR
  • Industrial devopment
  • South Africa

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