Cutting data costs a government priority – Patel

Government will prioritise bringing down data costs as part of developing an economy in line with the fourth industrial revolution, says Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel.

Patel spoke on efforts made to develop the economy to be more inclusive during the debate in Parliament on Monday, following the State of the Nation Address.

One area of global development includes the digital revolution and South Africa should not fall behind in building an economy for the 20th century while competitors are focused on the economy of the future, he explained.

“Technology is changing economies and society in a deep and fundamental way,” Patel said. “The digital economy is a key driver of the fourth industrial revolution. Thus bringing down data costs is a priority for the year ahead,” said Patel.

Government will focus on bringing down data costs through the competition market inquiry into data services, he explained.


Government also plans to expand the infrastructure for data by finalising the release of a new telecommunications spectrum.

Patel recognised that the digital revolution could create digital divides, but said it also provides “enormous” potential developments. South Africa should harness this potential.

Further to preparing South Africa to get ready for the fourth industrial revolution, in the next 12 months government will develop a skills framework for future jobs. This is a social plan to address disruptions to labour markets and workplaces that flow from new technologies, he explained.

Government will also invest in research and development to develop the intellectual property base for the economy. Government will provide funding for venture capital projects involved in technology as well, said Patel.

Additionally, government plans to complete the process of digital migration.

Government will work with the digital industrial revolution commission and arrange a session to brief Parliament on the progress made in the work done related to the fourth industrial revolution, said Patel. — News 24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Lameez Omarjee
Lameez Omarjee
Parliamentary reporter at Fin24.com

Related stories

Advertising
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday