Schneider Electric, global specialists in energy management and automation, participated at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Regional Roundtable with President Cyril Ramaphosa and members of the South African government held on 28 June 2018 in Johannesburg.
Highlighting the need to develop and strengthen partnerships between the private and public sector, the Roundtable provided a forum for business and government to engage on critical topics for South Africa's future development, including health, security, workforce, higher education, youth skills and governance.
Caspar Herzberg, president of Schneider Electric Middle East & Africa region, co-chaired the ‘Taskforce 8: How to create jobs for youth’.
“We believe in investing in people, as the backbone of the economy, and we place significant focus on vocational training and on the job training,” says Herzberg.
He added: “The conversation is on how best to develop young people in South Africa, providing them with the skills they need to contribute to and participate in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR). South Africa is an integrated economy with significant growth potential; we see the country as the perfect platform of innovation to launch into the rest of the continent.
"It is important that government and industry engage in win-win partnerships, particularly around key verticals of the smart city, such as energy, water and transport. Through these partnerships, industry is able to invest, and experiment, and that is a very attractive proposition.”
For Schneider Electric, access to energy, education and basic connectivity is a basic human right.
“Our foundations are built on that very principle, that the digital economy and real economy are intertwined. Without energy, there can be no digitisation – everything we do is powered by energy”, says Herzberg.
“As leaders in the digital transformation of energy management and automation we support South Africa in its quest to provide safe, reliable and sustainable energy. We also have ambitions of training an additional 30,000 people in the next four years, enhancing digital skills for the benefit of preparing South Africa for the future.
“Schneider Electric's commitment to South Africa and its development remains firm, and it has been an honour and privilege to sit down with the country’s top leaders to work through the challenges and opportunities ahead of us,” concludes Herzberg.