The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) wants the state to create new companies to play a bigger role in new emerging technologies and create much-needed jobs.
The country’s second-largest opposition party is targeting science and technology industry as one of the areas to create more jobs for South Africans.
In its bid to lure voters away from the ruling African National Congress, the EFF wants to create 45 000 jobs by 2024 through the establishment of new state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
This was outlined at its elections manifesto for the 2019 general elections launched yesterday at the Giant Stadium in Soshanguve.
To harness the power of new technologies, the EFF wants the state to participate in its development.
The manifesto document states that the EFF government will establish artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and biotechnology SOEs, creating 45 000 jobs by 2024, 23 000 of which will be reserved for women and the youth.
“The EFF government will encourage the use of artificial intelligence, robotics and advanced technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution at SOEs,” the manifesto states.
The party led by Julius Malema also promised in the manifesto to protect and subsidise companies focusing on advanced Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.
The EFF government will require each department, SOE and municipality to submit an annual report detailing how they have innovated and used technologies, particularly advanced Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, to improve service delivery and meet their mandates.
Furthermore, the EFF promises to upskill 50 000 miners, 20 000 of whom will be women, by 2024 so that they have the skills to operate new mining machinery and computer system.