These South African Jobs Will Be Obsolete As Technology Takes Over

Written by Staff
South Africa
Photo by: Ilmicrofono Oggiono/Flickr

The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) has released a new report looking at how the fourth industrial revolution is set to hit jobs in the country.

Overall, respondents were of the opinion that automation, globalization and demographic change could have a significant impact on their industries, causing some jobs and activities to disappear, while creating opportunities for new jobs and activities to emerge.

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“The speed and depth of technology adoption drives business growth, new job creation and the need for augmentation of existing jobs, provided it can fully leverage the talents of a motivated and agile workforce that is equipped with skills to take advantage of new opportunities,” the researchers said.

“This can only be achieved through proactive retraining and upskilling. Conversely, skills gaps – both among workers and among an organisation’s senior leadership—may significantly hamper new technology adoption and therefore business growth.”

As part of the report, the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) at Stellenbosch University highlighted emerging trends in 12 industries including healthcare, the informal sector, energy, transport, the public sector, services, education, agri-processing, financial services, mining, manufacturing and agriculture.

This was based on insights gained from desktop research, a workshop with the IFR research colloquium and the interviews conducted as part of this project. The overviews capture trends of a generic and international nature applied to South African industries.

Below is an outline of the new jobs which are likely to be created in South Africa due to the adoption of new technology – and the jobs which are likely to be phased out according to this data.


Ageing populations, the rise of non-communicable diseases and the emergence of intelligent, connected ‘wearables’ are driving an industry shift away from curing disease in the short term toward preventing / managing disease and promoting overall well-being (wellness) in the long term, the researchers said.

Life expectancy is also projected to increase from 73.5 years in 2018 to 74.4 in 2022 – bringing the number of people aged over 65 globally to more than 668 million, or 11.6% of the total global population.