Author(s): Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya
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.