Unemployment is an ugly topic that keeps rearing its head in South Africa and just won’t die despite the government effort.
It has plagued a country still reeling from the after effect of an Apartheid system of government. According to Stats SA, presently, the rate of unemployment stands at 29% as of 2019. This is why it is a major concern for the South African government, and it should be.
Commissioner Mpho Dagada a member of the Presidential Commission on the 4th Industrial Revolution echoes this too in his words when he said South Africa aims to tackle two crucial issues confronting the country. They are expanding the Gross Domestic Product and tackling unemployment. He stressed that the 4th Industrial Revolution can contribute to financial progress in the country.
In the face of many efforts in place by the South African government to combat unemployment. It seems the government is looking to toe the line of Blockchain to help win the battle. However, just how effective will this strategy be? The government through the commission of the 4th Industrial Revolution seems to think blockchain capability and AI could play a role to help reduce the country’s unemployment.
The motive point in the direction of looking to Blockchain to offer Insights and resolve Corruption. A closer examination of Dagada’s words reveals that the South African government is trying to spread the use of blockchain across several sectors of the economy.
For example, blockchain could help offer additional pure and data-centered insights in the mining industry. This is understandable given that mining was once a major contributor to the South African economy but now on the decline. It will be sensible for the government to look to improve and protect that sector in its effort against unemployment. A declining sector could be counterproductive to government efforts if left unchecked.
We are examining how exactly blockchain will be put into use and it appears that it will be used to correct problems such as market entry and corruption abound in the mining sector. Although, there is no evidence on the ground yet that this will work, the tone of the presidential committee sound optimistic.
The Information and Communication Technologies
Another area highlighted is the use of blockchain to improve ICT. However, not much is going on the integration of blockchain with ICT in the blockchain application development. Therefore, it remains to be seen how the South African government intends to use this technology in the ICT sector. Although the South African agency Workplace of Digital Benefit is seeking to actively, help blockchain initiatives in the country. This particular application of blockchain to ICT seems far-fetched for now. How will this particular initiative even aid the fight against unemployment?
The head of Workplace of Digital Benefit Akhona Damane explains that they are looking to increase ICT sector funding. Also, by introducing blockchain expertise, there is now a new directive to analyses new paths and operate programs, which are appealing for funding purposes from the government and private sector. If this path is towed it could have a knockdown effect in reducing unemployment in the country. As increased funding will probably lead to increased activities and movement and invariably more jobs.
Overall, we feel blockchain could have mixed results in the South African government’s pursuit of a better employment rate. Although, it is a useful technology that packs lots of potentials. However, the implementation of all the initiatives will certainly take time and the South African unemployed may not afford the government the needed amount of time with frustration boiling over already.