The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, will launch a campaign to commemorate twenty years of successful productivity improvement by the Workplace Challenge Programme in Cape Town on 2 March 2018. Minister Davies will be accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Productivity South Africa, Mr Mothunye Mothiba. The launch will take place at the premises of one of the beneficiaries of the programme, Trax Interconnect.
The Workplace Challenge Programme (WCP) is a two-year programme implemented amongst South African enterprises to improve their productivity, thereby ensuring sustainability of jobs. According to Minister Davies, the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has been offering the WPC to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) since 1998, hence the campaign to celebrate the achievements of the programme and reflect on new opportunities to take the programme to the next level. The campaign is also aimed at re-establishing the programme’s position in the market place by actively creating awareness about its benefits.
“The programme, which is administered by Productivity South Africa on behalf of the dti, is a productivity and competitiveness enhancement intervention for SMMEs in the manufacturing sector. Inefficiencies in productivity present a major risk to the growth and development of SMMEs. If not checked, they contribute to decline in the competitiveness of the sector in the long term. More than 1 000 companies have been supported through the WPC since 2003 when the programme was handed over to Productivity SA,” says Minister Davies.
He adds that the programme makes a direct contribution to the achievement of decent employment through inclusive economic growth, as it seeks to improve product, process and people dynamics to enhance sustainable enterprise development.
Mr Mothiba says the programme will focus on increased support for Black Industrialists, enterprises in the Special Economic Zones, (SEZs) and the industrial parks.
“The focus of the programme is in line with government’s objective to broaden participation in the economy in order to strengthen economic development. In addition, it focuses on the development of regional and industrial clusters. Through the programme, we have been funding the provision of turn-around solutions to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises and clusters to not only survive the fluctuations in the global economic cycles, but also to compete in the global market and to stimulate high investment and employment security,” says Mothiba.