South Africa could lose 5,7 million jobs to digital automation. Photo: facebook
DURBAN - A seminar at the University of Stellenbosch revealed that in South Africa about 5,7 million jobs will be at risk because of digital automation.

This could have a hindering effect on the country which is already suffering because of a weak economy and unemployment rates that are growing.

Dr Roze Phillips, a USB postgraduate diploma in future studies alumnus said that the country needed to do something now to ensure that humans and machines can work together in the future.

The Amazon Go grocery store in the United States in an example of how automation reduces the need for people. The store based in Seattle allows customers to buy products without using a cashier or a checkout till.

Although the Amazon Go store does have people working the kitchen to prep ingredients, make-ready to eat food, stock shelves and help customers.

According to an article in the Mail and Guardian automation will have a larger impact in South Africa. Michael Mendes an executive from IRESS a technology company said that the impact of automation will be greater in South Africa compared to developed countries because of the big amount of unskilled labourers in South Africa.

Research from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development a forum for wealthy nations used data from 2012 to calculate the risk of job automation in different countries.

The research found that 33% of all jobs in Slovakia have a higher risk of being automatable. They were followed by Slovenia with 25% and then Greece at 23%.