The South African Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Media statement on the release of the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group’s (IFWG) Position Paper on Crypto Assets

As the use of crypto assets continues to grow and evolve, a deeper collective understanding of this area is emerging, and regulators across the globe are formulating regulatory approaches that are proportionate to, and appropriate for, the benefits and risks of crypto assets.

Through the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG), a group of South African financial sector regulators have drafted a policy position paper on crypto assets. The purpose of this position paper is to provide specific recommendations for the development of a regulatory framework for crypto assets, including suggestions on the required regulatory changes to be implemented.

The position paper recommends, among other aspects:
• The implementation of an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime
• A licensing and supervisory regime from a conduct of business perspective
• A regulatory regime for the monitoring of cross-border financial flows

This position paper builds on a consultation paper on crypto assets that was first issued by the IFWG on 16 January 2019 (

The consultation paper highlighted the perceived benefits and risks of crypto asset-related activities, as well as policy proposals for a regulatory framework. It also provided an opportunity for all industry participants and stakeholders to submit comments on the proposals contained in the paper. The comments received were carefully considered in compiling the position paper released on 14 April 2020.

Members of the public and impacted role players and stakeholders are requested to provide comments on the position paper by 15 May 2020. Comments can be submitted by email to

Access the recently released IFWG position paper on crypto assets here:

Notes to editors
Members of the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) include the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), the National Credit Regulator (NCR), National Treasury (NT), the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

Where is South Africa’s industrial internet of things innovation?

A growing number of inventive startups has fed expectations that South Africa can be a hub for innovation in the industrial internet of things (IIoT). And while there has been progress and examples of the deployment of IIoT-related technology in the industrial sector in the country, there are roadblocks to more rapid growth, typically involving difficulty in making the business case for implementing new applications. IIoT is a subset of IoT that includes connecting devices and machinery in industrial sectors to monitoring, control and data analysis systems. It involves the merger of enterprise IT with operational technology, or OT – the instrumentation of physical devices and processes. In South Africa, 2019 was to be the year that home-grown startups would lead innovation in the sector, according to Frost & Sullivan’s 2019 ICT trends for South Africa. Whether the actual number of IIoT deployments has lived up to expectations may be debatable, but there appears to be broad interest in field.


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The path to digital revolution for businesses in SA

Digital transformation is more than just integrating the latest piece of tech into one of your processes. It’s about true digital transformation that is integrated into all areas of the business. This means that you’re forced to disrupt and shift services from manual only to online – but at the same time, rebuild your business culture, redesign products to be digital-first, allow marketing and sales to leverage digital, and add new capabilities into your environment in order to maximise on what the 4th industrial revolution offers. South African businesses are beginning to understand that this new way of thinking can actually fit into their business models, they can be technology-led and human-centred.


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An Application of Data Mining in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – A Case of South Africa

This research paper explores the in-depth application of Data Mining in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in South Africa. The Industrial Revolution concept has fundamentally changed our society and economy. In South Africa, data mining phenomena has not been fully realized in the age of the 4IR. In the age of information and 4IR data is viewed as a strategic assert that companies should invest in. Results in this study shows that the concept of data mining in South African business landscape is not fully executed and applied to business development and management as a practice. Statistical observations also indicate that baselines, historical data and intelligence if used properly can benefit businesses to grow and develop. This study attempted to discover hidden valuable knowledge by analyzing data using statistical data mining techniques during which a new data mining technique to analyze data, interpret it and present it was discovered. This research tested the new approach referred to as Alex Malapane Data Mining Technique (AMDMT) using test questions which were explored as per the objective of this study.

For the full paper please visit

Open governance for improved service delivery innovation in South Africa

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is the current and developing environment in which changing technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way governments function. Governments are increasingly facing new risks and opportunities due to the advancement of the 4IR. Governments need to find ways to adapt to the 4IR. Innovation is a prerequisite for adapting to the 4IR. The aim of this article is to determine the level of public service delivery innovation (SDI) in South Africa in the context of the 4IR. The analysis in this article is based on secondary data and documentary analysis, including unsolicited government documents, reports and legislation, and authoritative scholarly literature. A number of innovation measures for improved service delivery have been adopted in South Africa. These efforts are not, however, embedded within the wider public service, and efforts to improve SDI should be considered. In a global environment of resource constraints and constant change, open governance through multi-stakeholder collaboration may present strategic opportunities to facilitate innovation. The aim of these initiatives is to enhance transparency and accountability, and to facilitate public service delivery and citizen participation.

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Using ICT indicators to measure readiness of countries to implement Industry 4.0 and the SDGs

At the epicentre of Industry 4.0 is Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and across the 17 Sustainable Development (SDGs) are indicators focusing on ICT. In addition, SDG 9 focuses on promoting sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation. This paper samples 212 countries and regions, drawing up a 2015 baseline composite index using three out of six ICT-related SDGs indicators with data. The data come from the World Development Indicators database and the min–max method of computing the composite index was applied. The fndings show that the top 10 countries scored between 71.27 and 78.26 points out of the weighted total of 100, while the bottom 10 countries (all African) registered between 0.02 and 5.80 points. As for the regions, the European Union came top at 60.20 points and sub-Saharan Africa was last at 13.04 points. The African country ranked frst (Seychelles) scored 43.83 points and ranked 80th overall. Broadly, there is signifcant work required to prepare all countries for Industry 4.0 through ICT and to work towards attaining ICT-related SDGs targets by 2030. We recommend that right platforms be set up to promote ICT scale-up and lessen the convergence period between frontrunner countries and those lagging behind.

For the full paper please visit

Assessing the readiness of South Africa for Industry 4.0 – analysis of government policy, skills and education.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is imminent in the South African economy. Industry 4.0 is disruptive and challenges the status quo. This paper investigates the preparedness of South Africa for Industry 4.0 implementation. Government policies and initiatives on innovation and manufacturing are reviewed and presented to determine their position relative to Industry 4.0. Key statistics on education, skills and employment are presented and analysed to assess how well prepared the education system is to supply skills required in Industry 4.0. Based on the analysis and reviews of policy and key data recommendations are presented which highlight important actions to ensure optimal Industry 4.0 implementation.

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Public Outlook on Creative Methodologies for the 4th Industrial Revolution in South Africa

Many prior studies show that, with technology embedded in all we do, and more than half of the world’s population now connected to the internet, forecasts of the global economy being 60% digitised by 2022, means the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is upon us. The readiness of countries, including South Africa (SA), and whether and how they have prepared, planned and organised for this revolution, offers little empirical research. To date, no clarity exists with regards to social re-skilling, infrastructural adjustments, technology up scaling, and human resource readiness, as well as economic re-capitalisation. This study aims at providing input to assist with closing this research gap, seeking understanding and knowledge around creative methodologies for 4IR in SA, and the extent of perceived readiness and various factors confronting the country’s readiness in the coming industrial revolution. The study population consisted of 287 participants from seven selected business areas in the province of KwaZulu- Natal (KZN, SA. The target population was determined by quota sampling method, while the measuring instrument was a 3-point Likert-scaled questionnaire, designed and personally administered to respondents, allowing 10 days for completion. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 24.0) was used for data analysis and research findings presented in tables. The study highlighted that many respondents do not believe SA is ready for 4IR. The findings of this research should be used with care, as the sample is very small; the study recommends further empirical studies with larger numbers, which will include other provinces.

For the full paper please visit

Industry 4.0 readiness assessment for South African industries

Technological advancements related to the fourth industrial revolution are causing disruptive changes that are widely felt at national, industry, and company level. Industry 4.0, an initiative driving the fourth industrial revolution, is happening at an exponential speed, and embracing and adopting it is unavoidable for survival and competiveness. Although noticeable progress has been made in the use of Industry 4.0 technologies, systems, and processes in developed countries, there is uncertainty about the preparedness of businesses and industries in developing countries, including South Africa, to adopt Industry 4.0. The purpose of this research paper is to explore the readiness of South African industry in this regard. A questionnaire instrument with quantitative criteria compiled by the Impulse Foundation of Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau was used in this study. The exploratory study revealed that South African industry is faced with significant challenges in Industry 4.0 strategy formulation and equipment infrastructure to support Industry 4.0 requirements. The assessment pointed out that Industry 4.0 skills exist in pockets in South Africa, and so a further study to reveal more detail on Industry 4.0 skills requirements is essential.

For the full paper please visit

The Fourth Industrial Revolution–The Case of South Africa

On becoming President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa put the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) into his national economic strategy, generating criticism for its neoliberal rhetoric echoing the World Economic Forum (WEF) and concern it would not create jobs. 4IR is an umbrella term for 3D-printing, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, industrial Internet of things (IIoT) and robotics. For corporations it means rethinking strategies and auto cannibalisation of business models. For policy-makers in manufacturing nations it is supposed to raise national competitiveness and bring manufacturing home, potentially blocking developing nations from creating jobs through attracting labour-intensive manufacturing. Its effects on work and employment are forecast to be complex, potentially heightening inequality by reducing demand for low levels of skills. South Africa has a significant skills shortage, due to failings in its education system, limiting the supply of managers, researchers and workers needed for 4IR. There are also problems of poor quality infrastructure, reflecting weak governance and state capture. It has a poor record in policy formulation and implementation, especially across departments, with notable delays in cybersecurity and data protection. There is only a small domestic market and, despite aspirations, it is not an easy gateway to the rest of Africa, which has strong demographic growth but limited spending power and poor physical distribution systems. Moreover, South African firms have to compete with a strong Chinese presence.

For the full paper please visit

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