The Gauteng Provincial Government wants to turn the province into a hub of Fourth Industrial Revolution.

This was announced by Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Monday when he delivered his first State of the Province Address (SOPA) following the 6th General Election in May.

“Our dream is that Gauteng should be a hub of Fourth Industrial Revolution skills and a centre of excellence for digital economy breakthroughs such as Artificial Intelligence, cryptocurrency, and big data,” Makhura said.

At a packed University of Johannesburg campus in Soweto, Makhura said Gauteng — as the engine of South Africa’s economy — will contribute more to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s initiatives on economic recovery, investment, industrialisation, youth employment and township economy.

Makhura announced several initiatives that the province will introduce in the next five years.

One such initiative is the appointment of an advisory panel that will advise the provincial government on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in the first 100 Days.

Turning to infrastructure, Makhura said Gauteng will use its R60 billion infrastructure budget to improve access to water, sanitation, electricity, housing roads in deprived areas, completing urban renewal projects as well as the maintenance of existing government buildings, including schools, clinics, and hospitals.

Furthermore, Makhura announced that the nine Ekasi Labs will be expanded to provide high-speed broadband in all townships where young people can practice new digital trades and learn through existing programmes such as Tshepo 1 Million.

The province will also continue with a mass digital learning and digital skills programme to reach over one million young people, especially out of school youth. –

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