Accenture: the state of innovation in South Africa

By Georgia Wilson
Business Chief takes a look at the current state of technological innovation in South Africa...

Business Chief takes a look at the current state of technological innovation in South Africa.

Reflecting on the current state of innovation in South Africa, Vukani Mngxati, CEO for Accenture in Africa details that “Johannesburg is in the midst of a major technology revolution,” however, “South Africa continues to face multiple challenges such as high unemployment, slow economic growth and declining productivity to mention a few.”

To open up new opportunities Mngxati explains that innovation driven by digital disruption will create jobs, boost economic growth and address fundamental socio economic development and development issues. 

“South Africa needs to isolate the innovation gene and replicate it in all endeavours in all sectors of society where it can create value. This is not just the can-do kind of innovation that South Africa is known and recognised for, but true systemic, repeatable, collaborative, problem-solving innovation of the first order – the kind that disrupts and defines successful and resurgent nations,” adds Mngxati.

Disruption is inescapable and a growing challenge among industries in South Africa, “South African companies must ramp up their innovation capability and compete with global giants who are seeing Africa as the next mechanism for exponential growth. They need to invest in the talent at scale and rise to the next wave of challenges and opportunities.”

Accenture recently released its Innovation Maturity Index, which looked at the opportunities that technology innovation presents in South African businesses and their ability to turn opportunities into value. 

Key findings:

  • While 14% of global companies are innovating using digital technologies, only 7% of South African companies are doing the same

  • 62% of companies in South Africa are vulnerable to disruption, with weaknesses ranging from a lack of innovation to insufficient investment

  • Only 9% of South African industries demonstrate broad resilience and achieve consistent performance 

“One needs to recognise that business is changing and with it the business landscape. The old paradigms are being shifted by disruption and industries are converging to create channels to multiple services from singular entry points.” 

Accenture also conducted interviews with 100 South African C-suite executives from 14 industries to understand how their businesses are preparing for and are positioned to deal with disruption.

Key findings:

  • 50% of South African companies are not prepared for disruption

  • 75% expect their industry to be disrupted by new innovations in the next three years, especially from new competitors and technologies


For more information on business topics in Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.

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