RIA’s Public Comment on National Infrastructure Plan 2050

In October 2022 the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia De Lille, released the National Infrastructure Plan 2050 Phase 2 (the Plan) and invited public comment. The submission linked below was made by Research ICT Africa’s Senior Research Associate, Dr Scott Timcke, and Research Fellow, Mark Gaffley, (the Authors) on the basis of issues that may arise from the Plan if implemented in its current format, relating to (artificial intelligence) AI risk and cybersecurity.

The submission include 18 comments divided into six categories: (1) Data Governance of Digital Infrastructure; (2) Cybersecurity and Cyber Risk; (3) Compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act; (4) Cybercrime and Digitisation Systems; (5) Retrofitting Municipal Trading Services; and (6) Planning and Public Accountability. Broadly, the submission highlights the wide variety of challenges and risks that digital technologies as “distributed infrastructure” may bring to road, rail, health and educational infrastructure.

The research that informed this submission is made possible by a grant from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as part of RIA’s Africa Just AI Project, an AI Policy Research Centre that aims to ensure AI development and decision-making are carried out in accordance with ethical systems and a rights-respecting framework. The Authors are currently engaged in public interest research as part of the project under the AI Risk and Cybersecurity theme. 

If you would like to find out more or discuss any of the insights contained in their submission please do get in touch.