In brief

In brief

  • New Accenture research offers South Africa an unprecedented opportunity to maximise the benefits of digital.
  • The rising Importance of digital Technologies and Digital value to Society.
  • Our analysis reveals that South Africa could unlock over R5 trillion in value over the next decade.
  • Understand how digital technologies create value for industry, consumers and society in South Africa.

Digital transformation is redefining industries, making new business models possible and providing businesses—and economies—with unparalleled opportunities for value creation. Accenture’s (NYSE: ACN) research indicates that R5 trillion in value could be unlocked for business and society in South Africa by 2026 through the implementation of key digital initiatives.

"Realising the value that digital transformation offers will require relentless effort," says Vukani Mngxati, CEO of Accenture, Africa. "This Accenture and the World Economic Forum (WEF) research is important—a highly granular level of insight never before achieved into the challenges facing industry and government in South Africa, and the potential of digital to help solve them. It is insight that can help lay the groundwork for national digital transformation strategies that will benefit all."

Unlocking digital value for business and society in South Africa
"We are confident that these findings will help initiate broader dialogue on the impact of digital technologies in South Africa and—importantly—inspire the collaborative action needed by stakeholders in South Africa to define effective digital policies and strategies, and guide investment in digital transformation to deliver the greatest benefits for all."

— Vukani Mngxati, CEO – Accenture Africa

Transforming society, industry, the economy

Digital transformation can help address several macro-economic, societal and technological challenges in South Africa. These include low economic growth, growing unemployment and dwindling competitiveness.
Across industry sectors, transformation of financial services, agriculture and manufacturing sectors presents the highest potential, offering over R2 trillion in potential value.

  • In the agricultural sector, for example, the use of autonomous vehicles, drones and sensors enables precision agriculture, improving use of resources and increasing yields. This will revolutionise the sector.

  • In the manufacturing sector, the implementation of multiple advanced technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), throughout the value chain will improve responsiveness to demand and enable the introduction of many value-adding services.

Across government, digitalisation of public infrastructure maintenance, public administration and healthcare can add over R1.2 trillion in value to society over the next decade.
Consider the value that predictive maintenance and improved infrastructure asset management can deliver, how analytics and blockchain can improve tax compliance and public administration, and the how digitising the healthcare supply chain and the introduction of telemedicine can turn healthcare delivery around. Setting the pace for economic growth in South Africa.

For South Africa, the immense benefits from the application of digital technologies can be multiplied exponentially if stakeholders collaborate, align and synchronise their efforts to maximise value for all sectors. These decisions will be critical, helping to improve the way South Africans work and live, and setting the pace and trajectory of South Africa’s economic growth for the next decade.

What key technologies can drive digitalisation, what is the value at stake in each sector and what role will stakeholders need to play to realise this value? Click through to our research, Unlocking digital value for business and society in South Africa, for more insight.


The Accenture and WEF value-at-stake framework assesses the impact of digital initiatives (from driverless cars and predictive analytics to drones and remote healthcare) on industries, consumers, society and the environment over the decade to 2026. In the assessment of industries, the framework integrates all segments of an industry's value chain, capturing approximately 80 percent of revenues and profits. It considers the total addressable market and the adoption or penetration rates of new technologies over time, and is based on research, industry reports, existing use cases and expert interviews. The framework also quantifies Digital Value to Society by aggregating the key performance indicators that measure the impact of digitalisation on health and safety, employment, the environment, labour and consumers. Additional Accenture research, based on expert interviews, local statistics, and other inputs, quantifies the value at stake in South Africa and identifies the key digital technologies and initiatives across industry sectors and government services that can unlock that value.

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