Published in Freight, Logistics & Warehousing. Can fourth industrial revolution technologies benefit South African rail? By Nafisa Akabor

Rail was intrinsic to the first industrial revolution and is likely to be a major beneficiary of the fourth too. Modernisation of rail networks worldwide promises more automation, data capture and efficiencies to reduce costs and climate impact, and while South Africa’s rail network is not at the cutting edge when compared to Europe, it has potential.

Koketso Seripe, chief executive for Etion Digitise, says that emerging technologies can drive big efficiencies in local rail.

“With the availability of internet of things’ (IoT) technologies and Industry 4.0 initiatives, this has become very reachable on our continent,” he says. “We are lagging in the opportunities for optimisation, but that does not mean we should give up.”

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