COMMUNICATIONS & BATTLE OF IDEAS 3
TOWARDS THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION:
CATALYSING ECONOMIC GROWTH, BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE SOCIETY & ADVANCING A BALANCED PUBLIC DISCOURSE
1.1 The ANC’s 54th National Conference takes place in a contested communications environment characterised by, among other things:
1.1.1 The increasingly rapid uptake of social media by many of our citizens, especially the youth, and its increased primacy as a platform of choice for accessing and disseminating information. Social media use is fast surpassing traditional media consumption in some countries around the world.
1.1.2 Increased inter-connectivity, whereby multiple sources of information are consumed on multiple devices. Given this, the ongoing Battle of Ideas has assumed global dimensions unprecedented since the advent of the modern media age.
1.1.3 Technological advances, underpinned by sophisticated analytical and research capabilities, which have forever altered the local and global political landscape, and in particular the way in which electoral campaigns are conducted. Catchy ‘sound bites’, shareable images and brief sentences limited to 140 character counts are taking precedence over unpacking substantive issues in this new space.
1.1.4 Greater media convergence as characterised by the advent of multimedia reportage (combining print, television, radio and online). One of the important consequences of such media convergence has been a local and international media industry that is increasingly oligopolistic. This new media environment is consolidated and hegemonic as opposed to diverse and pluralistic.
1.1.5 Media consolidation and hegemony in South Africa has meant that the larger media houses – many of whose editorial positions on government and the governing party are adversarial – predominate. Greater convergence has meant that these anti-ANC voices, some of which overtly favour the political opposition, dominate not just one but multiple platforms at any given time.
1.1.6 Challenges and divisions within the ANC and the broader mass democratic movement have created an opportunity for exploitation by such opponents of the ANC. By exaggeration, selective interpretation and punditry, and elevating relatively minor issues into national crises, opponents of the ANC aim to gain currency for their narrative of an organisation in terminal decline, and of a country on the brink of failed statehood. This has naturally placed the ANC and government on the defensive.
1.1.7 A trust deficit has emerged between the citizenry and the SABC, as the public broadcaster lurches from one crisis to another. The opportunity cost of this has been substantial, as millions of South Africans turn to social media and antagonistic mainstream media platforms for their sources of information, many of which lack credibility.
1.2 This document seeks to develop a framework for the National Policy Conference discussion document centred on:
1.2.1 Repositioning the ANC to effectively participate in the Battle of Ideas.
1.2.2 Strengthening communications capacity of the Executive and Legislative branches of government.
1.2.3 Developing a roadmap towards the realisation of Vision 2030 of the National Development Plan (NDP).
1.2.4 Within the context of the NDP, developing a roadmap towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution, building on the previous resolutions of the ANC that sought to position the communications industry as a significant driver of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) and the attainment of a united, non-racial, non- sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa, and
1.2.5 Radical transformation of the media industry and the building of a plurality of voices within society at large.
1.3 The policy document covers the following areas: The Battle of Ideas; Information and Communications Technologies (ICT); Broadcasting and Content; Print Media Transformation and Accountability; Government Communications; and Internal Organisational Communications.
1.4 Communications and the Battle of Ideas in the NDR, as well as the cross-cutting and catalytic nature of ICTs and the communications sector to foster economic growth and social development, has been the cornerstone of our approach to policy making.
1.5 The ANC has always recognised the need to adopt a forward-looking policy in these areas – in order to guide government and other role players.
1.6 In addition to policy-making in the communications sector, the ANC has sought to position itself for the digital future as a model user of ICTs and other communications technologies - namely for internal organisational processes, mass mobilisation and the implementation of its programmes.
2. THEME: PREPARING FOR THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
2.1 As its theme, the document, guided by the NDP, focuses on preparing South Africa for the Digital Economy and the 4th Industrial Revolution - driven by the increased use of and adaptation of ICT tools in all human activities. Technological developments have now made possible machine- to-machine (M2M) communications, robots and autonomous systems able to operate with or without human interventions in all spheres of human activity. The 4th Industrial Revolution is a focus of attention, as it contains within it possibilities of disrupting current economic and social structures profoundly over the next 20 to 50 years. The task for South Africa is to plan effectively, position itself optimally and engage proactively with these rapidly evolving technologies. We have within our means the capability to harness the potential of these technological capacities to improve the lives of South Africans, and overall mitigate the negative side effects of disruption and change.
2.2 Available research estimates that by 2025 there will be more machine-to-machine communication than connected people in the world. Undoubtedly, this marked shift from personal contact to a new trajectory driven by M2M communication will forever alter the local, national and global economic landscape.
2.3 The term 4th Industrial revolution is synonymous with unprecedented and simultaneous advances and the convergence of ICT digital technologies, robots, artificial intelligence (AI), internet connectivity of everything (commonly called the Internet of Things), 3D printing (manufacturing of goods using special printers and new materials), nanotechnology and biotechnology, and energy storage capabilities to redefine industries and forever alter the production of goods and services. The combination of these technologies is poised to introduce radical shifts in the social and economic systems that shape our reality and how we live. It is therefore imperative that the ANC should focus on the impact of these impending disruptive changes on citizens, our goals and society and ensure that the discussion is not about technology in and of itself, or in isolation to its associated societal impacts.
2.4 This seismic shift of landscape is predicted to be bigger than any changes witnessed since the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. These will include profound shifts across all industries and result in the irreversible disruption of the business processes of existing companies - reshaping how goods and services are produced, consumed, transported and delivered. Within an economic context, the 4th Industrial Revolution is expected to have the potential to increase the wealth of nations and individuals.
2.5 As with all periods of flux throughout history though, there will be inevitably be winners and losers. Without concerted policy interventions the technological changes can reinforce prevailing disparities; widen the existing digital divide, and perpetuate or deepen economic exclusion both between countries and inside nation states. If not addressed through meaningful policy interventions, the gaps between the highest and lowest paid in society, gender discrimination and social insecurity could be exacerbated.
2.6 The first step for intervention is recognising that modern innovations in and of themselves will not automatically deal with our existing social and economic challenges. In particular, there is a threat that without acknowledging this and developing strategies to address it, it is likely that the 4th Industrial Revolution will reproduce some of the inequalities and related challenges.. Such challenges will assume forms as those of the past: characterized by skewed distribution of resources between the haves and have-nots. In particular, the advent of the unprecedented restructuring of the world economy as a result of the 4th Industrial Revolution will have a serious impact on the distribution of incomes and jobs.
2.7 To contextualise further, the previous three industrial revolutions also presented both opportunities and challenges:
2.7.1 The 1st Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the mid-1700s and involved the replacement of manual labour intensive cottage-based produced systems with mechanised production with the introduction of steam and water power. Textiles were produced in cotton mills instead of individual homes.
2.7.2 The 2nd Industrial Revolution (also known as the technological revolution) was a period of rapid industrialisation following on from this (starting in the last part of the 19th century and continuing until the start of the First World War). It involved the introduction of large scale businesses and mass production with the introduction of electric power (including the introduction of the assembly line by Henry Ford for example). Among other things, this period included the building of railroads, large scale iron and steel production, the beginning of electrification and the introduction of the telegraph. Agriculture was displaced as a key economic activity.
2.7.3 The 3rd Industrial Revolution (from about 1969) involved the introduction of electronics and information technology to automate produced. As it progressed, personal computers, the Internet and mobile phones were introduced changing the way people relate to each other.
2.7.4 The 4th Industrial Revolution similarly builds on the achievements and technological advances of the previous eras and is expected to achieve maturity in the next 20 to 40 years. It is characterised by the “fusion of technologies… (and) blurring of the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres” and is defined by technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine learning, robotics, autonomous systems like driverless cars and drones, 3D printing and nanotechnologies.
2.8 The ANC’s approach to the 4th Industrial Revolution is premised on the need to ensure shared growth and development, involving all citizens as active participants in the new economic and social milieus. Accordingly, the ANC’s policy will be underpinned by the following strategic considerations:
2.8.1 The need to mobilise and involve the whole society and draw on a range of social actors and sectors to facilitate active participation in the w shift towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution
2.8.2 The need to align strategies and plans with the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP). In particular it is crucial to ensure that the potential of ICTs to facilitate realisation of all goals of the NDP across the different sectors is considered and integrated into implementation plans.
2.8.3 The crucial leadership role to be played by government, both in creating an enabling environment across all sectors of society and through establishing itself as a model user of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) through e-government and other innovations.
2.8.4 The need to achieve broader ANC goals and strategies in implementing digital policies including promotion of fair competition, skills development (including both digital literacy and facilitating the development of specialised ICT and technology skills), elevating the role of SMMEs, job creation, protection of privacy, and cyber-security. More emphasis should be placed on the role of young people who constitute a significant portion of both national and global populations.
2.8.5 The need to ensure effective coordination across different tiers of government and between the public, educational,, NGO and private spheres, towards the development of a comprehensive approach to Smart Communities, including townships, villages and cities.
3. KEY PILLARS: ANCHORING PREPARATIONS FOR THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
3.1 Preparations to ensure South African effective utilisation of new technologies to meet its development goals must go hand in hand with activities to address inequalities, including the skewed distribution of resources and infrastructure and uneven access to economic and social opportunities for advancement. Priority will continue to be placed on:
3.1.1 Creating an enabling environment through policy and regulatory approaches that open up the ICT sector and markets to new innovative start-ups and SMMEs. Resource and infrastructure sharing and competition at service levels will continue to be the cornerstone of policy in areas where resources cannot accommodate all aspirant providers and where infrastructure cannot be duplicated for economic, ecological, scarcity and social reasons.
3.1.2 Universal internet access and roll-out of broadband to reach all areas of South Africa. The existing infrastructure gaps will continue to be the focus of the infrastructure roll-out programme for both the public and private sectors. Government capacity to use its existing assets as well as the elimination of duplications within the public sector will help direct the resources to the areas of greatest need. Rationalisation of the state’s capacity to provide broadband will remain a priority.
3.1.3 Government will lead the roll-out of the programme for the uptake and use of the ICTs through an effective national e-government programme. All public services that can be provided using modern communications technologies will be part of the e-government programme
that connects government to citizens and enables the faster and cheaper delivery of services. In implementing this, however, Government must ensure that it extends its services to all citizens across the country and that no person is unable to access services due to lack of access to ICTs (physical or, for example, because of lack of capacity). All spheres of government and all government departments will be expected to finalise, implement and monitor their delivery of services using online and digital technologies.
3.1.4 A National Cyber Security Strategy will be developed to deal with emerging threats and crimes in the online space. Government will coordinate efforts of the different role players and mobilise citizens to actively participate in protecting themselves and their data.
3.1.5 Sector transformation will remain a key focus. Government will work together with industry to achieve 51% black and South African ownership of the major networks and platforms. An effective SMME strategy will provide institutional and funding support to SMMEs in this regard.
3.1.6 An ICT Skills Development Framework will be developed to ensure that the country’s education system as a whole is positioned to best prepare young South Africans for the digital future. The ICT Skills Development Framework will prioritise lifelong learning and offer opportunities and structured ways for workers in both public and private sectors to upgrade their skills to take advantage of digital technologies. A National Awareness and Training Scheme will also be developed to enable members of society to participate in digital development.
3.1.7 A collaborative institutional framework will ensure participation by all segments of South African society. Government will establish a 4th Industrial Revolution Commission to make recommendations on immediate, medium and long term priorities and goals for society as a whole. The National ICT Forum will continue to offer space for engagement between different sectors of society on the implementation of the different sectoral strategies.
3.2 This document builds on the strategic framework that flowed from the decisions of the ANC’s 53rd National Conference regarding ICTs and Society. ICTs are acknowledged to be a key general- purpose technology with widespread scope and applicability across different sectors and industries.
Since the 53rd National Conference, the ANC has taken steps to ensure that government addresses the ICT development in order to maximise the contribution of ICTs as a strategic economic sector; as well as to foster the widespread use of ICTs across all social and economic activities. Currently government is focusing on implementing SA Connect (a government broadband plan); and has adopted an Integrated White Paper on ICT Policy. More emphasis is placed on stakeholder mobilisation and partnerships so that South African can focus on consolidating its successes and addressing challenges in its focus on being a significant player in this new environment.
3.3 The ability of South Africa to achieve this will depend on the leadership that the ANC provides. The cornerstone of this new economic landscape should be a well-oiled internal communications machinery functioning throughout the structures of the ANC, including branches. The ANC cannot achieve the goals that it has set for itself and the country as a whole when it fails to communicate efficiently and effectively as an organisation. Concurrently, there is a need to pay serious attention to improving government communications - from the Legislature upwards.
4. POLICY CONTEXT
4.1 The ANC’s 53rd Conference held in Mangaung, Free State, in 2012, took place against the backdrop of significant strides made by the ANC and the ANC-led government to position the communications industry as a significant driver of social, political, economic and cultural development in South Africa.
4.2 At the same time, the 53rd National Conference adopted the NDP, government’s roadmap for accelerating growth and development. Alignment between the NDP and the communications sector should not be implied but should be symbiotic in order to maximise concomitant benefits to both.
4.3 As we move forward, our communications policy and programmes will be underpinned by the overall vision of the NDP.
4.4 How do we practically link communications policy and the NDP?
4.4.1 Linking communications and the NDP first speaks to emphasising the dual role of communications both as a sector on its own and as an enabler in other economic and social sectors.
4.4.2 With regard to the first proposition, the ICT sector throughout the value chain is one of the growth areas in the economy. Consistent with the NDP’s focus on economic growth, the document proposes measures to increase the sector’s contribution to economic growth.
4.4.3 With regards to the second proposition, it is recognised that ICTs are increasingly critical enablers of growth and development in the other social and economic sectors.
4.5 Likewise, our approach to broadcasting and other content sectors has the ultimate aim of fostering social and cultural development as well as social cohesion - hence the emphasis on this document on the creation of a new cultural industry.
4.6 Print media also plays an important role in the attainment of the goals set out in the NDP. On its own, this sector (despite the negative economic climate) still plays a significant role in facilitating democratic discourse. It should be acknowledged however that this is often constrained by skewed patterns of ownership and control.
4.7 Contextually, this document forms part of an array of policy interventions that have been introduced since the advent of democracy in 1994. Table 1 below highlights some of the key policies of the past 23 years of democracy. As indicated in the table, our achievements in this space were not a fluke of history, but the direct and incontrovertible outcome of policies introduced by the ANC government.
4.8 South Africa has one of the best communications infrastructure and services in the developing world. It should be acknowledged however that much more needs to be done to expand access, affordability and quality; increase ownership and control (especially by previously disadvantaged communities) and promote innovation to stimulate the demand for and uptake of cutting edge ICTs such as smart communities. In addition, there is a need for diversity of local content across different platforms and to fast track realisation of a diverse media environment. Integral to the latter is a media environment that does not prejudice the rights of citizens. It is important to note that this is not a pre-requisite or ‘condition’ introduced by the ANC, but completely in line with media best practice internationally where media, especially print media, are expected to operate in an ethical manner and abide by the principles of transparency and where necessary, accountability. This is a standard in most developed countries as well as developing countries, including some of the world’s oldest and most established democracies. Promoting of trust through such initiatives is also increasingly important to the ongoing sustainability of media – which is facing increased competition from other sources, including social media platforms.
4.9 Improved government communications and internal organisational communications systems and processes form an integral part of the communications and media landscape.
4.10 As we ponder strategies to leapfrog towards the 4th Industrial Revolution, there is a need to highlight the road that has been travelled since the advent of democratic policies with the enactment of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Act in 1993. The success of the industrial revolution, including its impact, will depend on the foundation we have laid across the wide spectrum of communications policies.
5. OVERVIEW OF THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE
53RD NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND THE 4TH NATIONAL GENERAL COUNCIL (NGC)
5.1 The 53rd National Conference called for a review of existing ICT and Broadcasting policies to, among other things, accelerate transformation, universal access and innovation to ICTs and diverse content. The National Conference further advanced the rollout of broadband networks and services to reach all South Africans. Linked to this, is the need for South Africa to participate in the global discourse on Internet Governance and to introduce mechanisms to improve cyber security.
5.2 With regard to postal services, the National Conference called for the roll-out of the postal network, integration of the postal sector in the digital environment and the corporatisation and licensing of the Postbank to ensure that it provides access to banking for many South Africans who still remain outside of the mainstream economy.
5.3 It called for the accelerated implementation of the digital migration programme to provide South Africans with new platforms and content as well as to free up much needed radio frequency spectrum for high speed broadband and Internet networks. The 4th NGC called for a speedy resolution of the discussion on set top box control mechanism to, among other things, protect South African boxes from being used in other jurisdictions, protect broadcasters’ premium content and enable competitiveness in the sector.
5.4 The role of the SABC in the new broadcasting environment and the related roles of other tiers of the broadcasting sector comprising commercial and community services, were also emphasised.
5.5 Consistent with the resolutions of the 52nd National Conference on print media transformation, the 53rd conference reiterated the need for diversity and accountability in the industry. Notwithstanding circulation decline and other challenges, the print media industry remains a significant player in the dissemination of information in South Africa, facilitating communications and with it, shaping people’s outlook.
5.6 The 52nd National Conference also called for efforts to overall improve Government communications and legislature and parliamentary communications in particular.
5.7 Around internal communications, Conference resolved to continue to position the ANC as a model user of information and communications technology platforms such as social networks. It was resolved that all structures of the ANC, including regions and branches, should be adequately capacitated to communicate effectively with the membership, the general public and specific interest groups. The Battle of Ideas should be engaged with throughout the organisation and not confined to Head Office alone.
6. CHALLENGES AND SHORTCOMINGS
While some strides have been made to implement the resolutions of the 53rd National Conference and the 4th General Council, there are still a significant number of issues that remain outstanding or are still in the process of being implemented.
6.1 On internal communications and the Battle of Ideas
6.1.1 It goes without saying that the ANC is fighting to attain political hegemony in society and, in this regard, within a heavily contested terrain. There is an urgent need to articulate the ANC’s position on socio- economic transformation and on building a better South Africa in a manner that is consistent and coherent.
6.1.2 The Battle of Ideas is an important ideological tool. Within a space where a number of ideological positions struggle for supremacy – reflective of class tensions within society - the ANC as a revolutionary movement cannot neglect the importance of mobilising society around a common vision that presents a credible political, social and economic narrative that is in itself an alternative to that of the dominant capitalist class. This is the Battle of Ideas.
TABLE ONE: Timeline of Key Policy and Legislative Interventions
No Policy/legislation Key issues/achievements
1 Independent Broadcasting Authority Act, 1993
- Establishment of an independent regulator ahead of the 1994 elections;
- Introduction of new regulatory framework for public broadcasting and other services;
- Licensing of community and commercial radio stations;
- Licensing of e-TV as the first commercial national TV service;
- Licensing of community TV services;
- Creation of an independent democratic broadcasting system and an enabling environment for industry growth and development;
- Diversifying ownership and control of broadcasting services.
2 Triple Inquiry Report, 1995
- An IBA-led inquiry into the regulatory framework for the protection and viability of public broadcasting, South African content and cross-media control.
3 White Paper on Telecommunications Policy, 1996
- Set out the policy principles that would guide the reregulation of telecommunications in South Africa
- Provided for independent regulation of the sector.
- Put in place mechanisms and resources for support for universal service.
4 Telecommunications Act, 1996
- Codified the policy proposals in the White Paper
- Introduced a new regulatory framework for telecommunications with the establishment of the SA Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA);
- Introduced a new model for achieving universal access and created the Universal Service Agency (now the Universal Service and Access Agency) to promote universal access; and
- Introduced a framework for the regulation of infrastructure sharing to maximise the value of available infrastructure and to ensure competition.
5 White Paper on Postal Services, 1998
- Introduced policies to transform the postal sector in South Africa
- Provided for universal access to postal services
- Provided for the introduction of private postal services while protecting the viability of the South African Post Office to ensure it could meet universal service targets
6 Postal Services Act, 1998
- Transformation of the Post Office with emphasis on the provision of universal access to affordable and quality postal services.
- Set out the framework for the determination of postal tariffs; and
- Set out framework for the regulation of postal tariffs.
7 Broadcasting White Paper, 1998
- Set out government’s policies for broadcasting, including provisions to ensure that the SABC fulfils a public service mandate and could be held accountable.
- Clarified the complementary roles of the public, community and privats.
8 Broadcasting Act, 1999
- Expanded the definition and the role of the different classes of broadcasting licenses;
- Determined a Charter for the Public Broadcasting Services;
- Defined local content, including the regulation of national sporting events to ensure universality and diversity; and
- Set out a framework for further licensing of commercial and community radio stations.
TABLE ONE: Timeline of Key Policy and Legislative Interventions (continued)
No Policy/legislation Key issues/achievements
9 ICASA Act, 2000
- Introduced a converged regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA0 - by merging the IBA and SATRA.
10 Media Development and Diversity Act, 2002
- Established the MDDA to support and promote media diversity and development.
11 Electronics Communications and Transaction Act, 2002
- Created a secure environment for online transactions and communications;
- Introduced a transparent management mechanism for the .ZA Domain Name;
- Established a state owned entity to manage the .ZA Domain Name in public interest.
12 Electronic Communications Act, 2005
- Introduced a comprehensive, converged licensing framework.
- Introduced a comprehensive framework for ex-ante competition regulation and tariff regimes.
- Introduced the principle of the allocation of spectrum where demand exceeds supply.
13 Integrated National ICT White paper
- Providing cross-government leadership and facilitating multi- stakeholder participation in the drive for inclusive digital transformation.
- Reinforcing fair competition and facilitate innovation in the converged environment.
- Protecting open internet.
- Facilitating digital transformation.
- Moving towards openness – open access, open internet and open Government.
6.1.3 There is overwhelming consensus within the ANC on the need to defend our ideas and ideals as a movement across all existing and emerging platforms – withtheunderstanding that the Battle of Ideas should be located within the terrain of struggle. This starts with reaching a common understanding within the ANC itself of what the Battle of Ideas entails.
6.1.4 Branches, regions and some provinces are still not optimally capacitatedto engage in the Battles of Ideas in society. The rapid use of social media networks (where information is unmediated and unfiltered, and the need often to respond with speed and accuracy is crucial) necessitates that the organisation has to be adequately capacitated to deal with this new media environment, not forgetting an increasingly hostile traditional media environment. A comprehensive plan to resource the organisation, including through the provision of training in digital political communications, is a priority to be adopted by Conference.
6.1.5 Digital Membership: We need to digitise membership recruitment through adopting an interactive web-based system. This will remove gatekeeping and promote online engagement with members to fast-track decision making, strengthen branches and broaden participation as a whole. This will be done without compromising ANC Constitutional imperatives. Dashboard reports (web-based produced) can be processed through ANC Constitutional structures for ratification.
6.1.6 The ANC needs a long term plan to innovate its processes and systems to make it easy to reach South Africans, especially women and the youth, in order to draw them into structured programmes of the organisation.
6.2 On ICT and Postal Policy
6.2.1 At a macro level, there is a need to develop a long-term vision that will harness the availability of high-speed broadband and internet infrastructure to meet the goals of both short and long-term socio-economic development, across all economic and social sectors.
6.2.2 At a micro level, there is a need to focus on the implementation of all the policies that have been developed as part of the implementation of the 53rd National Conference Resolutions. These include the mobilisationof boththehumanandfinancial resources to enable implementation.
6.2.3 The ANC should develop and articulate a roadmap that outlines the way in which embracing digital innovations and the 4th Industrial Revolution will contribute towards the restructuring of the economy. This will require effective private and public sector partnerships.
6.2.4 Since the drive towards the 4th Industrial Revolution involves the restructuring of the economy, there is a concomitant need to focus on skills development across the ICT value chain. A coherent skills development framework across the entire value chain of the ICT and postal sectors is therefore needed.
6.2.5 The drive towards the digital economy also requires securing South Africa’s interests in the Internet environment, taking into consideration cyber-threats and other Internet related challenges emanating from the global nature of the Internet.
6.3 On Broadcasting/Audiovisual content Policy
6.3.1 Notwithstanding the decisions of the 4th National General Council, which called for the expedited implementation of migration from analogue to digital broadcasting transmission, and the progress made thus far, the project remains far from completion.
6.3.2 Recent court cases around the nature of the set top box control mechanisms pitting government against e-TV have exacerbated the delays - thus deferring the urgent release of the strategic radio frequency spectrum needed to accelerate the rollout of broadband and high speed Internet networks.
6.3.3 Due to the multi-channel environment brought about by the implementation of digital migration, there is a need to support growth and development of the local content industry.
6.3.4 Whilst in the recent past significant progress in the increase of local content has been recorded, there is an urgent need to implement a coherent strategy for localising content as an economic and cultural industry. It is clear that South Africa cannot move into the new digital broadcasting environment while being wholly dependent on foreign-produced and sourced content.
6.3.5 The existing support mechanisms for the production of music, television and multimedia content have not been sufficient to encourage the requisite explosion of South African content necessary to ensure that content is easily accessible across the ever expanding platforms. There is a need to review policies to facilitate this including funding mechanisms for a range of content (music and audiovisual) for different platforms.
6.3.6 The 52nd and 53rd National Conferences called for the repositioning of the SABC as a multimedia organisation capable of offering services across all platforms accessed by South Africans. There is a need to revitalise the SABC so that it can regain its credibility as the broadcaster/ content provider of choice for all South Africans across regardless of where they are located, what languages they speak, if they have any disabilities, or their age, gender, race, religion, class, social strata or other demographic characteristics. .
6.3.7 The policy must position the Public Broadcasterwithin a digital future (platforms, content, hubs, etc.) It must furthermore articulate other ANC resolutions taken within the context of a digitised environment
– including but not limited to language, regionalisation of broadcasting, content diversity, local content development, youth development and the use of broadcasting for early childhood education and training and to support ongoing development and lifelong learning. The architecture of our future digital broadcasting environment must not lose sight of the PBS mandate of the SABC as well as the critical role played by community media - so that the people remain empowered with ownership and control of broadcasting services and that Free-To-Air broadcasting is strengthened.
6.3.8 The ambiguity occasioned by the concurrent application of the Broadcasting Act and the Companies Act to manage and regulate the affairs of the SABC has resulted in diminishing accountability of the public broadcaster and negatively impacted on good corporate governance. The application of the Companies Act has also led to Board members and Executive
Management usurping parliamentary and executive powers to appoint and fire Board members. It is important that the legislative scheme as it pertains to the governance and operations of the SABC be clarified. The Broadcasting Act, containing the Charter of the Corporation as well as other important provisions like the public broadcasting mandate, is the principal legislation bearing on the governance and operations of the SABC. The Companies Act, to the extent that it is applicable, is a general law that does not supersede the specific Act establishing and governing the SABC.
6.3.9 Past Conference resolutions indicated the need for the separation of public and commercial services’accounts of the public broadcaster. This separation is now an imperative so that the public broadcasting mandate of the SABC can be costed and such costing used for the development of a new funding framework. Funding the public broadcasting mandate is important to ensure the diversity and plurality of voices and the reflection of the diverse multi-cultural nature of South Africa. Finalisation of the funding model is now critical to ensure a sustainable SABC. The funding model must also ensure that value for money, efficiency and quality of spending is adhered to in a manner that can be evaluated and facilitate accountability for all public resources utilised by the public broadcaster.
6.3.10 The community radio tier of broadcasting was introduced in ANC policy even prior to the first democratic elections in 1994 in order to ensure that communities have the means to have their voices and specific issues reflected. While in the past the ICASA has issued many community licences, it is now clear that most of the community stations are facing an uphill struggle to survive. Reasons for such struggles range from the duplication in licensing that has produced a situation in which more than one service is serving a given community and community services are directly competing with each other. Policy must encourage the different community stations to merge so as to consolidate the resources and use them efficiently to meet the needs of the communities.
6.3.11 The existing support and funding framework for the community sector needs a review. The MDDA support has been cited as problematic due to the centralisation of MDDA operations in Johannesburg, the lack of provincial offices as well as the limited legislative scope for funding by the Agency. The scope of funding should be broadened to include support for signal distribution, content production especially for targeted groups including children, women and the youth on educational, health and other priority areas, infrastructure and training. This support must come from national, provincial and local authorities. The three tiers of government will be encouraged to use the services of the community stations and contribute financially for this use.
6.3.12 The 52nd Conference Resolutions noted the continuing trend of consolidation in the private sector media environment (and in private radio) that militates against policy objectives of diversity of audience, ownership, content, news, language and analysis to reflect the different voices and views in our democracy.
6.3.13 In relation to television, efforts to licence competition to the dominant subscription service have proven futile and it seems there are limited or no prospects under current conditions of any new player successfully entering and competing against the existing monopoly due to its dominance. Addressing this necessitates a multi- pronged strategy that will ensure the opening of the technology platform for use by new entrants and ensuring that diverse suppliers provide services across the different elements of the subscription value chain. Facilitating growth in the subscription market further requires the review of the licensing conditions of the subscription services. The current regulatory regime imposed at the time when the subscription market was small and had a relatively insignificant share of the total audience must be changed in order to reflect the size and therefore the obligations to ensure fairness across the whole television market. There is also a need to review the legislative limitations on advertising revenues taking into account the prevailing conditions in South Africa. Limitations were intended to protect the FTA sector (which therefore has greater obligations in relation to for example South African content quotas). Advertising revenue collected by a pay TV operator according to law must always be lower than subscription revenue. However subscription revenue now exceeds total advertising revenue and the limitations are therefore meaningless. This must be addressed to ensure viability of FTA services both during and post digital migration.
6.3.14 Effective regulation of the ICT sector is crucial to realisation of the public interest goals of policy. The regulatory system has at least in more recent years, not been effective and has resulted in operators not fulfilling their licence conditions. The establishment of two regulators as per the Integrated White Paper, one for content and the other for competition and networks, will help address this issue. These two regulators must be established without delay so that they provide the necessary capacity for flexible ad proactive regulation envisaged in the discussions on the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
6.3.15 The entry of over-the-top (OTT) services in the South African market could result in unfair competition to existing licensees who have public interest obligations attached to their licences. The regulatory framework must be fine-tuned to create a level playing field. The review of broadcasting policy, for example, must expand the definition of broadcasting to take into consideration broadcast-like services that have been enabled by technological changes. Policy must also encourage the emergence of South African OTTs so that they can meet the needs of local content and societal needs while competing with the foreign OTTs. The regulation of the OTTs will be graduated to reflect their market power and ability to provide services that replace the current regulated services.
6.3.16 The Local Content Development Strategy must be strengthened to support independent producers, SMMEs, etc and allow for entry by new innovative content providers. There is also a need to prepare South Africa to be able to create and/or take up regional, continental and global opportunities arising from the introduction of new digital platforms. Our policy should align with the aspirations of Agenda 2063 of the African Union through amongst others, the platform strategies.
6.4 On parliamentary and legislature communications
6.4.1 Parliament and the different legislatures play an important role in communications. As resolved by the National Conference, there is a need to further capacitate Parliament and the legislatures to better communicate with the people of South Africa. The need for this has become increasingly urgent as there is clearly a deliberate plan by opposition parties to undermine the integrity of Parliament and the legislatures simultaneously. There is a need to strengthen parliamentary and legislature communications infrastructure, within a clearly defined operating framework. It should also be considered that there is a need for Political Communications Training for parliamentary and legislature officials – to enable them to better promote the work being done in their respective areas, in the public space.
7. PRIORITY ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Implementing the resolutions of the 53rd National Conference and the 4th NGC remains the key priority going forward. In this regard, the National Executive Committee (NEC) through its Communications Sub-Committee should increase its oversight of government, parliament and the legislatures to ensure that all deployed members implement resolutions of the ANC as the basis of their tenure in their areas of deployment. The policy document will identify priorities and programmes recommended for consideration and decision by the 54th National Conference:
7.1 On the Battle of Ideas and internal communications
7.1.1 Our approach to the Battle of Ideas should be underpinned by organisational unity, high moral ground, discipline and the delivery of adequate services to the people of South Africa.
7.1.2 We must invest in agenda setting, actively participate in the battle of ideas, and provide leadership at all levels. ANC must command hegemony in agenda setting. In the context of forging unity, the ANC must not have its own sponsoring negative narrative against its own. Comrades must respect ANC Media Policy and protocol. ANC must not be its own enemy in terms of communication.
7.1.3 The ANC must develop deep research capabilities and strengthen ideological training among its comrades to appropriately equip comrades to engage and lead society on a broad range of issues. The ANC’s Political School should lead in this regard.
7.1.4 Capacitating the organisation especially its lower structures remains a priority. A lack of capacity at local level has serious implications especially in the increasingly hostile electoral environment when the opposition parties have decided to collaborate against the ANC. Conference should adopt a holistic plan to resource the organisation to communicate better with its membership, supporters and society in general.
7.1.5 As we advance to 2019, the ANC should conduct regular opinion polls (at least quarterly) to gauge the attitudes and opinions of South Africans across race, gender, geography, age, and other demographic differences.
7.1.6 The ANC must strengthen its internal communication platforms, including ANC Today and Umrabulo, to ensure that the organisation is able to communicate its message to the people in an unmediated manner.
7.1.7 There is a need to greater profile the work and activities of the various subcommittees of the organisation –and a clear programme of action should be developed to engage media in the work of these committees. There needs to be an assessment of the way in which the work of the subcommittees is presented in the public space and how this can be built upon –especially with regards to the Battle of Ideas.
7.1.8 Greater synergy between the work of the ANC and its alliance partners should be advanced in the media space.
7.2 On ICT and postal policy
7.2.1 The implementation of the ICT policy should lay a solid foundation towards the digital economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
7.2.2 Government must accelerate the implementation of the ICT Policy and White Paper with a strong emphasis on the following priorities:
7.2.3 Introducing the new market structure based on open access principles to enable competition, tariff reduction and empowerment.
7.2.4 Establish two new regulators, one for Content and the other for Carriage and Infrastructure (including traditional telecommunications services).
7.2.5 Establish a Digital Development Fund as a dedicated funding instrument to inter alia support small enterprises and initiatives aimed at building smart communities and smart villages, thereby ensuring all citizens are part of the digital future.
7.2.6 Accelerate the rollout of the national broadband plan, SA Connect, and increase the number of districts from the current eight identified for phase one of the rollout.
Government must identify and introduce various funding models to accelerate the rollout of SA Connect.
7.2.7 Conclude the rationalisation of institutions and harmonisation of key programmes.
7.2.8 Introduce a stakeholder engagement programme to mobilise all relevant role players (including, non-profit and sector organisations, academic institutions and industry) to develop a comprehensive framework to take South Africa forward to the 4th Industrial revolution and ensure partnerships in resolving a range of related issues including skills development, digital awareness and literacy, employment creation, research and development, innovation and access.
7.2.9 Government should introduce incentives to mobilise role players (including emerging companies) to invest in new innovations such as social networks, search engines, data centres and cloud computing.
7.2.10 Regarding the cost to communicate (colloquially called #DataMustFall), government and its regulatory institutions should allocate resources to complete the outstanding market reviews to reduce the costs of telecommunications services.
7.2.11 Creative ways must be found to extend the role of the South African Post Office (SAPO) in providing access to digital services. For example, all Post Offices should be digitised and postal outlets used for learners to access the Internet and printing facilities thus broadening access to college and university education.
7.2.12 Conclude the licensing of the Postbank and the introduction of the following services:
7.2.13 Payment of government grants in line with the Integrated White Paper on ICT policy
7.2.14 Lending to individuals who cannot access credit with an emphasis on those who seek to invest in small businesses
7.2.15 Develop a collaborative arrangement with the DFIs at all levels and act as a gateway to communities
7.2.16 The ANC should develop a comprehensive position paper on the 4th Industrial Revolution setting out the key principles of the new economic landscape. The position paper should be updated annually to give direction and track progress on the 4th Industrial Revolution.
7.3 On Broadcasting/Audiovisual content services:
7.3.1 The ambiguity occasioned by the concurrent application of the Broadcasting Act and the Companies Act to manage and regulate the affairs of the SABC has resulted in diminishing accountability of the public broadcaster and negatively impacted on good corporate governance. The application of the Companies Act has also led to Board members and Executive Management usurping parliamentary and executive powers to appoint and fire Board members. It is important that the legislative scheme as it pertains to the governance and operations of the SABC be clarified. The Broadcasting Act, containing the Charter of the Corporation as well as other important provisions like the public broadcasting mandate, is the principal legislation bearing on the governance and operations of the SABC. The Companies Act, to the extent that it is applicable, is a general law that does not supersede the specific Act establishing and governing the SABC.
7.3.2 The ANC must identify talent from its own ranks and deploy skilled and qualified cadres accordingly.
7.3.3 The ANC must reaffirm the importance of implementing our resolutions and ensure there is political will to implement its resolutions by its deployees. In this regard, the ANC notes the tendency by some in the private sector to attempt to influence and subvert ANC policy implementation and that this needs to be dealt with in order to ensure implementation of resolutions.
7.3.4 The existing Broadcasting White Paper and related laws must be reviewed to position the sector for a multi-channel digital environment and ensure the principles of diversity and South African content continue to be emphasised. This includes a review of the definition of broadcasting (see above) and a review of the public broadcasting system, mandate, oversight and governance and funding to position the SABC as a modern, multimedia broadcasting service. It is crucial that the SABC is once again the broadcaster of choice for the majority of South Africans. This means that the SABC must be available free-to-air across all platforms including: satellite, terrestrial, mobile and online.
7.3.5 Public funding of the SABC (including government funds, funds from the public and access to in kind support such as spectrum) in line with the decisions of the 52nd National Conference should be informed by a well-articulated strategy focusing on implementation of a clearly defined public mandate. Such a strategy should also spell out what constitutes premium or developmental services that must be funded by the contributions from the fiscus and what types of services will not be funded from public funds. The SABC must be accountable for all public funds and resources utilised and systems put in place to ensure the public value for money.
7.3.6 As part of the modernisation endeavour, the SABC should introduce new, innovative platforms to cater for all South African languages. This should include endeavours to ensure that all African language radio services are available throughout the country.
7.3.7 Policy should also ensure that the SABC, community broadcasting and other Free to Air (FTA) services to access content of national interest and to premium content, including national and commercial sport, under reasonable and favourable terms and conditions. It is crucial that those who cannot access pay TV services are not given second class content. The digital era must strengthen people’s communication platforms like the SABC and community broadcasting, as part of the three-tier broadcasting system.
7.3.8 Governance remains a big challenge at the SABC. The NEC is mandated to explore governance options to ensure stability at the SABC. Our failure to do this will see many South Africans preferring alternative commercial services for news and information.
7.3.9 Over the years, the ANC has called for a National Youth Radio station to be established within the SABC. While we remain committed to this resolution, Conference should call for a comprehensive plan to ensure access by the youth to a diverse range of meaningful content across all platforms – including radio.
7.3.10 The SABC strategy should include international broadcasting, with a specific emphasis on the African continent. In particular, Channel Africa should be restructured as a matter of urgency to be more effective than it is currently. As part of this restructuring, Channel Africa should also be received in South Africa. Government should also explore synergies between Channel Africa and Radio Ubuntu, which falls under DIRCO and consider how the international services will be funded to ensure they are sustainable.
7.3.11 Government should accelerate the rollout of digital broadcasting in the remaining parts of the country after the successful launch in the SKA areas in the Northern Cape, and ensure 100% of population coverage by the end of 2018.
7.3.12 Government must also develop a National Content Strategy and streamline existing initiatives (including for example mechanisms to support film production and those in place on broadcasting and broadcasting content) hose supporting film and providing to facilitate an increase in South African music and audiovisual content production and ensure diverse content is available on all platforms both in and outside South Africa
7.4 On Print Media Transformation
7.4.1 Media is a site of struggle. It must be regarded as robust and potentially hostile or at least critical, taking a position against the ANC. The ANC must recognise this and win the media over with our narrative and recognise the need to commit resources to managing the relationship between the organisation and the media. There must be an emphasis on media responsibility rather than accountability.
7.4.2 There is further a need to clearly define media transformation. The ANC must broaden the definition of transformation; it must be seen and understood in the context of transformation of the country. Transformation further in the sector means transformation across the value chain, while recognising that traditional print media is now also involved in audio and audiovisual content distribution (via online platforms for example) and that the distinction between print and broadcast media might become increasingly blurred. Transformation is not a consequence of changes to ownership and control alone. It must include a change in content to ensure that media organisations target different audiences across our country and must ensure transformation to address unequal access across gender, class, geographic and other such disparities.
7.4.3 The approach to transformation must consider the financial situation of media, legal issues (including review of defamation laws) the South African Constitution and the Bill of Rights and its emphasis on freedom of information and expression for all. This necessitates the need for different voices and perspectives to be reflected across the media – including forums for ANC and progressive voices to be heard.
7.4.4 The debate about media transformation does not happen in a vacuum and must be located within the broader debate regarding dismantling of monopoly capital and radical economic transformation. The media in this regard is both a sector organisation that needs transformation itself but has also played a part in trying to thwart ANC and its alliance partners initiatives to initiate radical transformation.
7.4.5 Dismantling monopoly must be through legislative interventions in areas like ownership and control rules, probe into anticompetitive behaviors and market structure. The ANC must ensure radical legislative and regulatory interventions on cross-media ownership and this debate must also be taken forward in the review of existing broadcasting policy and legislation. The ANC must focus on breaking up such monopolies and on ensuring participation of black South Africans, and in particular Africans, in all sectors of the media and across the media value chain.
7.4.6 Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) must be mobilised to support this transformation of the media and funding must be made available to transform the mainstream and develop new voices and media initiatives through support of community media, capacity building and equity equivalent.
7.4.7 The ANC must further support initiatives to boost creativity and innovation to promote SA services and products on digital media platforms, including online media and broadcasting, coding, etc. The ANC must identify priority areas to support and develop strategies to use instruments such as equity equivalent programmes and investments.
7.4.8 The ANC must emphasise and communicate opportunities arising from the ICT Charter. The ANC should encourage access to the ICT Council Fund to support the transformation agenda in the print and other media. Enterprise development opportunities must be explored by our people.
7.4.9 Media practitioners and professionals training must be prioritised. Journalism curriculum must be reviewed, it must be informed by contextual reflection to ensure that training meets the needs of the country and of the changing media environment. This must include transformation of training institutions recognising the specific skills necessary to ensure transformation and that the profile of lecturers matches the demographics of our country.
7.4.10 The ANC must commission research into the best model for independent regulation of print and other media taking into account the changing media environment and new media initiatives using social media platforms, the need to ensure credibility of all media as well as the Constitution Act and imperatives of media freedom in South Africa. A model media charter – recognising the particular characteristics of the different media and print media, must be developed in line with generic Codes of Good Practice. These documents will assist and empower ANC cadres prior to the Parliamentary probe.
7.4.11 The ANC notes that the role of the media must be understood in context, beyond just making Government accountable, it is to educate, inform and impart knowledge.
7.4.12 The ANC reaffirmed the need for independent regulation of print media. Self-regulation of print media in SA has failed as there are insufficient punitive measures which can be taken (for example no fines can be imposed) and the media industry is not adequately funding the system. It is reported that the Press Council and Ombudsman has no funds, It is also a voluntary system and media organisations can pull out (e.g. reportedly Independent Newspapers and the New Age no longer are bound by the existing Code).
7.4.13 With regard specifically to the print media industry, the following interventions should be implemented without delay:
126.96.36.199 Introduce a Print Media Empowerment Charter in line with BBBEE to ensure transformation in this industry.
188.8.131.52 The issue of government adspend and support for community media needs to be critically interrogated. In particular departments that continue to prioritise mainstream media (some of which have an openly hostile stance to the ANC and its programmes) at the expense of community media must justify this approach. It is crucial that government adspend is utilised to ensure maximum value and benefit for government.
184.108.40.206 Parliament must undertake an enquiry into the media accountability mechanisms including the desirability of establishing an MAT and the possibilities of amending defamation laws without delay as mandated by the 53rd and the 5th national conferences. The Parliamentary probe must be held before the June ANC Policy Conference.
7.4.14 The ANC must conduct a study reviewing the ideal model for media regulation of standards and codes, taking into consideration the needs of readers and audiences which will inform ANC positions adopted in Parliament. This must include a review of how best to fulfil ANC media transformation goals.
7.4.15 The ANC and Government must invest more in using unmediated media platforms so that they can communicate directly with citizens and use innovative ways to push boundaries when communicating.
7.4.16 The ANC must increase its use of public and community media produced in indigenous languages. Plurality of ideas is key to the promotion of media diversity.
7.4.17 The ANC must encourage the use of digital opportunities to confront some of the challenges in the media landscape. (Use 4.0 strategies)
7.4.18 Cross-media ownership must be limited and definitions reviewed to accommodate the new media environment where not only cross ownership between broadcasting and print media might inhibit diversity but also potentially cross ownership between, for example, content aggregators and Internet service provider and media organisations.
7.4.19 Current monopolies are perpetuated across the media value chain and prevent sustainable entry of new media service providers.. Competition rules can be designed to prevent the abuse of market. Market structure and market failure remains the challenge.
7.4.20 Existing laws and instruments like BBBEE must be enforced as a matter of priority, to give effect to the promotion of media diversity. Holistic implementation of these instruments must be emphasised, so we can guard against anticompetitive behaviour, colluding and ensure compliance with Codes of Good Practice.
7.5 On Parliamentary and Legislative communications
7.5.1 The current Parliamentary-broadcasting service is far from adequate. A new parliamentary television service should be established as part of the public broadcaster. The new channel should include all nine legislatures and be more interactive than the current channel.
7.5.2 Parliament and the provincial legislatures should develop their own comprehensive communications strategies and include a focus on how to communicate and actively interact with all stakeholders, including citizens.
7.5.3 Members of the ANC caucuses in Parliament and the legislatures should be capacitated and empowered to issue statements on their areas of work expressing the position of the ANC on topical issues being discussed in Parliament.
7.5.4 Councillors at the local level should be capacitated with effective communications skills and resources. Government must introduce a uniform compulsory training course on communications for all councillors.
7.6 On Human Resources Development Strategy
7.6.1 There must be the mainstreaming of investment in digital skills training as part of creating an enabling environment for the digital revolution.
7.7 On Entrepreneurial and Enterprise Development
7.7.1 An enabling environment must be created for SMMEs which encourages innovation and creativity in order to position our country for the 4th Industrial Revolution encourage job creation and relevant skills development. Support for community media initiatives forms an integral part of such a strategy.
8. PREPARING FOR THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
8.1 As noted in the introductory pages of this document the 4th Industrial Revolution looms large in the medium term – warranting consideration in the evolution of policy to guide the medium to long term plans of the country.
8.2 The potential positive outcomes presented by the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution are many and significant. These include the
introduction of advanced technologies to address essential public services including the provision of health services; promote lifelong education; encourage the expansion of the South African economy while specifically accommodating small and medium enterprises as costs of production decrease; and the development of smart cities and communities that better manage energy use and transport systems to lower the burden on citizens. The entry of robots and computers in the production cycle will potentially improve South African productivity and ensure it is at par with the rest of the world thus making us more globally competitive. Technology at the point of production and with the ability to monitor production and environmental issues on a continuous basis will transform the working environment and make it safer allowing government to intervene proactively before workers are placed at risk for example.
8.3 Like any other disruptive process, however, there are also inherent dangers that must be managed and mitigated for society to obtain its net benefits. The 4th Industrial Revolution will impact on the factory and farm workers as machines and robots take over repetitive unskilled jobs that today provide sustenance to millions of South Africans. It has also the potential at the beginning to give rise to a job market increasingly segregated into low-skills/ low pay and high-skill/high pay segments thereby increasing the wage gap between these two categories further.
8.4 The transformation of the production process into robot enabled processes that operate 24/7 will lead to unemployment to a significant number of people who will not possess the new skills that fit into the changed production and work environment. Countries with a large low-skilled or unskilled youth populations will likely face major challenges.
8.5 Research indicates that children born today will occupy different jobs compared to what exists currently as a result of these changes. For example, automated driverless cars will eliminate many jobs in the taxi, bus and transport sectors just as robots will replace many packaging and handling jobs in a variety of sectors.
8.6 These changes cut across all sectors. This reality challenges the education system to adapt its approaches in order to produce the skills sets that will be required in the future. In addition, the skills and training sector is challenged to develop learning and skilling approaches that will upgrade the current skills, retrain and reskill the workers for the future.
8.7 It is important to note that even though the impact is predicted to be severe in some sectors there are existing and new sectors that stand to increase employment figures as a result of this change.
8.8 Research by the World Economic Forum (entitled ‘The Future of jobs and Skills’) predicts a decline in employment levels associated with office and administration, manufacturing and production, construction and extraction, arts, design, entertainment, legal, installation and maintenance. The same report concludes that there will be positive job growth in business and financial operations, management, computer work, architecture and engineering, sales and related fields, education and training.
8.9 The challenge therefore is to make society as a whole aware of these changes so as to equip individuals with the necessary decision- making powers and skills so that they can take up future job possibilities. The second aspect to the challenge is ensuring that the education system as a whole responds to the challenge and produces skills that are required at the correct time and in correct numbers.
8.10 The changes outlined above will impact on all aspects of the South African society making it necessary that effective structures for ongoing dialogue on the challenges and opportunities take place between a range of stakeholders on a continuous basis.
8.11 The institutional framework that will guide the South African response should be robust enough to accommodate different sectors, social and economic and interest groups in order to ensure inclusive growth with greater synergy between economic growth and broadly based progress in living standards for all South Africans.
8.12 This document proposes the establishment of a 4th Industrial Revolution Commission by government to help facilitate the thinking on these fundamental changes and make recommendations to government. This Commission would have representatives of all economic sectors, labour and social partners.
8.13 Government shoulders a special responsibility in leading proactive strategies that will help South Africa navigate the radical changes. In this regard there are a number of specific government responsibilities:
8.14 Creation of an enabling environment for the whole of society to participate which in part entails extending the digital ICT infrastructure and services to reach all areas of the country through appropriate policy and investment tools available.
8.15 Government as a model user of the new technologies to deliver public services and facilitate effective and meaningful communication between government, citizens and businesses. This entails an evolving e-government strategy relying on South African ICT products and services. All government services must be online and accessible to South Africans through the technologies of their choice. Government must further ensure that no citizen is unable to access its services or communicate effectively with government because s/ he does not have physical access to digital services (whether due to cost or physical location) or because they do not have the skills to engage.
8.16 Government must also facilitate the mobilisation of the different economic and social sectors to produce corresponding national sectoral plans and strategies. These sectoral plans will address job creation, skilling and investments in new technologies.
8.17 Reform of the education and skilling environment to ensure alignment to industrial and economic needs. A separate but important aspect of this training should adequately deal with awareness of the evolving technological environment in order to ensure all South Africans participate.
8.18 Coordinating the work of the different spheres of government in the development of smart cities and communities to include rural and underserviced areas. This coordination will entail the establishment of coordination and monitoring mechanisms.
8.19 Developing interventions across the economic sectors to promote new innovative services and the entry of SMMEs. This will require that all sectors develop strategies to lower the barriers of entry to the industry.
8.20 Reducing of the cost to communicate and access to the new technologies.
8.21 Within the above construct, the ANC resolves to undertake the following specific interventions to lead society towards the 4th Industrial Revolution:
8.21.1 Government must without delay, develop a comprehensive national action plan on the 4th Industrial Revolution, taking into account and guided by the National Development Plan. The development of the National Action Plan should involve all sectors of society. A comprehensive coordination mechanism should be introduced to achieve this.
8.21.2 Government must without delay, implement e-government as a way to create confidence and trust and improve delivery of services (and monitoring of implementation of programmes).
8.21.3 The White Paper on ICT Policy should be implemented within a reasonable period not exceeding five years (by the time of the next National Conference) to ensure that critical issues and interventions do not fall through the cracks.
8.21.4 Government must implement massive training initiatives through TVETs and government’s e-skills institutions targeting young people.
9. APPROACH TO RADICAL ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
9.1 The ANC should develop a comprehensive position paper on the 4th Industrial Revolution setting out the key principles of the new economic landscape. The position paper should be updated annually to give direction and track progress on the 4th Industrial Revolution.
9.2 The Integrated National ICT White Paper introduces radical economic interventions departing from the current market landscape. It introduces openness – open access, open internet / OTT and open Government.
9.3 The introduction and ANC approach to the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and digital migration must also be seen in the context of strengthening Free-To-Air (FTA) television, and benefitting public, community and commercial services. This will assist in:
9.3.1 Closing the content divide (with some sections of the population having greater access to premium content for example).
9.3.2 Policy, legislation and regulation must also adapt to ensure that public interest objectives are met in the new digital environment including ensuring access to national events and sports of national interest, quality South African content in all languages and across all genres and opportunities to interact with television services.
9.3.3 The approach must further ensure that it breaks up monopolies and concentration across the television and audiovisual content value chains and for example address decoder monopoly, promote interoperability of decoders and position South Africa to be a preferred producer of all-in-one decoders (decoders enabled with DTT, internet connectivity and the Internet of Things, pay TV, et cetera).
9.3.4 South Africa must open the subscription television market, which is currently dominated by one player, Nasionale Pers (NasPers) through Multichoice and DSTV.
10. MEDIA CHARTER REVIEW
The ANC Sub-Committee mustfurther prioritise review of the 1993 ANC Media Charter to ensure this addresses the new environment and challenges and successes faced to date.
11.1 The document serves to review progress made, identifying gaps and challenges, and begin to chart the course for an enabling environment that positions South Africa for the digital revolution.
11.2 It is aimed at ensuring a measurable roadmap for the 4th Industrial Revolution guided by the NDP.
11.3 Broadband connectivity, digital broadcasting, new technologies and the Internet of Things must provide solutions to fast track development. They must be geared towards improving service delivery. They must have the ultimate aim of digitising our economy at all levels, thereby creating new opportunities especially for digital skills development. Most importantly, they must be harnessed to enable us to respond to, address and ultimately solve the developmental challenges facing our country.
1. South Africa and the continent must reap the benefits of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
1.1 What further interventions can ensure maximum benefit to the developing world is derived from the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
1.2 How can we mitigate the challenges posed by this new environment?
1.3 Is the development of digital skills, reskilling workers, creation of new entrepreneurial opportunities, promotion of innovation and creativity enough to mitigate the challenges?
1.4 Which digital literacy programmes can be adopted?
1.5 What policy interventions can ensure diversification of means of production in the Fourth Industrial Revolution without compromising the latest developments and innovation?
2. Strategic State Owned Entities (SOE’s) have faced several corporate governance challenges, despite the founding legislations and public finance management legislative framework.
2.1 What further intervention can be made to ensure skilled and qualified deployments?
2.2 What can be done to protect the public broadcaster’s mandate, ensure delivery of public content and protect the entity’s balance sheet?
2.3 Should there be an audit of SABC contracts that are not in keeping with public service broadcasting policy and obligations? Should all such contracts be cancelled?
3. The ANC has been under sustained attack from the opposition, social media and the Fourth Estate. The hegemony in the Battle of Ideas has resulted in the odds being stacked against progressive forces. The ANC has developed strategies to ensure it takes a lead in the Battle of Ideas.
3.1 What do we mean by the “Battle of Ideas” and do we share a common understanding? What is the role of the Communications Subcommittee and the DIP?
3.2 How do we ensure broad participation in the Battle of Ideas and the hegemony thereof?
3.3 Do we have enough opportunities created to empower our youth and workers with skills in preparation for the 04th Industrial Revolution and the Battle of Ideas?
4. Digital broadcasting presents an opportunity for growth of the broadcasting industry in particular free-to-air radio and television, local content development, manufacturing, creativity and innovation. It further lays a foundation for access to affordable high speed broadband for all.
4.1 How do we strengthen free-to-air broadcasting in the digital era?
4.2 How do we develop local content production and access to this?
4.3 How do we ensure more people benefit from the opportunities provided by this sector?
5. Digitisation is key to the creation of SMART Communities (Metros, Cities, local municipality and villages), digital economy and digital future.
5.1 What should be the core principles guiding Government in the e-strategy, digital revolution and e- Governance?
5.2 What strategies can enhance and fast track development of SMART Communities?
5.3 What ideas should be adopted to develop digital literacy?
Issued by the African National Congress, 12 March 2017