A shorter version of this article appeared in Business Day, South Africa on 23rd March 2020
Last month President Ramaphosa in his SONA heralded the forthcoming construction of a new 5G-ready smart city around Lanseria Airport in the next decade. With it, South Africa was belatedly thrust to the front of a Continent-wide rush to establish so-called smart and eco-friendly cities, seen as a means of jump-starting the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution powered by digital technology.
I’ve had a few heated debates in the past few days about how I appear to care more about the economic fallout of Covid-19 than the mounting death toll from the virus itself.
Of course I care, and especially about the looming global health system crises too. But looking to the bigger picture, I also know that in the long-run, for better or for worse, this virus will be under control in a about a year’s time. Whereas the economic fallout, and by extension the social and political fallout could last decades.