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The transition to digital in South Africa

by Staff writer
13 Mar 2020 at 08:07hrs | Views
Digitization is slowly transforming the world, for the better or the worse, that is for the individual to decide. It is happening all around us, in many aspects of everyday life without you even noticing.

You see it on public transport, with people reading books and articles off their Kindles as opposed to paperback books. Emails, which the majority of people use as a basic level of communication were digitalized once upon a time.

The fact is, humans of the current and future generations are coming to rely on digitized products and services. It slips seamlessly into and affects our lives, making things more efficient, enabling faster communication and delivery. It is difficult to envisage a society that doesn't utilize digitization, but they exist and there are also countries which are experiencing a more amateur level of digital progression. One of those countries is South Africa, a country with such an eventful, controversial recent history but a country with such potential and rich culture. But a lack of digitization could potentially leave South Africa behind its world competitors in many industrial sectors.

However, we need to take the recent history into account to realize why South Africa is lagging so far behind many other countries in the world. But the potential of the country is huge, not just in what the country already possesses but also what the country has to offer.

A big industry in SA is mining and it is also an industry that has always heavily relied on human labor. However, digitization can propel mining to new levels of discovery and prosperity and can really provide a boost to South Africa's economy. With the evolution of technology, we now have at our disposal technologies that can assist with data analytics and visualization. Visualization brings a whole process to life and allows everyone involved in the process chain to see the essential information. In the mining industry, this can also help streamline processes to ensure there is less time wasted, and no unnecessary costs. More importantly for the workers, safety can be enhanced through more accurate analytics. On the operational side, transitioning to the digital can streamline processes like drilling for example. Technology nowadays is able to map out tight spaces to provide an accurate image which could lead to a more accurate drill of a metal, which again, can reduce time and costs.

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Mining is an industry that has been a big part of South Africa for many generations. Another lesser-known industry but one that has also been a hidden part of South Africa's fabric and has huge potential is gambling/ betting. Gambling has very much been an underground activity since 1673, when gambling was first banned. This ban was enforced in 1965 when all gambling except for horse racing was restricted. However, the National Gambling Act in 1996 was the first indication that gambling was slowly being introduced into South African culture. Since then, digitization has started to get a grip on the industry.

The introduction of online casinos in South Africa was a massive step in increasing the availability and popularity of the activity. South Africans now have access to a plethora of online casino games, at the touch of a button. As a result, the gambling industry in SA is booming and growing at a rate of 5% per year. The potential to add to this growth lies in sports betting. South Africa has rich sporting history, and this was further enhanced with the World Cup victory last year. Punters would have got extremely good odds on South Africa winning too.

We have just seen two instances of digitization but it's occurring in tourism and healthcare for example. Although South Africa is still piecing itself together, it is currently in an age where digital products and services are close at hand and in the near future, we could see South Africa become a major player in the world market.

Source - Byo24News

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