This report provides an overview on the outcomes of this knowledge self assessment. A total of 1123 responses were collected from 20 South African districts across all nine provinces. Of the responses, 55% were males while 45% were females, with two thirds of the respondents being youth with an age of 35 years or less. About 21% of the respondents indicated that they do not have access to data or cannot afford it, while 35.5% can afford to spend R150 per month or less. Four out of five respondents believed that the fourth industrial revolution does exist. Overall, this is a positive finding as it allows for engagement with the citizens. However, half of the respondents believed that the fourth industrial revolution should not be taken seriously.
Only 1% of the respondents are highly knowledgeable about the fourth industrial revolution, with a quarter of the respondents rating themselves 7 out of 10 on knowledge (an acceptable level), while 50% ranked themselves 5 out of 10 (average) on knowledge of the fourth industrial revolution. Individuals between the ages of 36 – 45 years were the most knowledgeable about the fourth industrial revolution. This is not surprising as 70% of them are employed full-time, 76% of them have a matric certificate or a tertiary qualification and 86% of them have access to the internet.
Based on the findings, it is evident that the fourth industrial revolution is a new terrain and citizens are not highly knowledgeable about it. The lack of knowledge, especially among entrepreneurs and the unemployed, who are the main target for economic emancipation, is concerning. There is a need for a strategy to target and address these groups.
Overall, there are mixed views on the expected societal impact of the fourth industrial revolution, with more negative societal impact that positive impact. Overall, there are citizens who are not as optimistic about the opportunities that will be brought by it. This could be due to several factors which might include lack of the engagement and exposure to the fourth industrial revolution.
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