From a company that only had about 34 employees over three years ago and now employing 200 people to an artist who has intertwined the modern with the old to create versatile art, this was the fair at display during the Workplace Challenge Programme 20 –year celebration held in East London, Arcadia over the weekend.
The event aimed to commemorate 20 years of productivity improvement by the dti (Trade and Industry) ‘s Workplace Challenge Programme. Various companies who are beneficiaries of the Workplace Challenge Programme, provided testimony on how the programme assisted them grow their productivity. The Workplace Challenge Programme is a 24 month programme implemented in South African enterprises to improve the productivity of the companies thereby ensuring sustainability of jobs.
The Workplace Challenge Programme is a programme of the dti and is managed Productivity SA. Productivity SA is established in terms of section 31(1) of the Employment Services Act, No. 4 of 2014 as a juristic person with a mandate to promote employment growth and productivity, thus contributing to South Africa’s socio-economic development and economic efficiency.
Delivering the keynote address at the event, the Eastern Cape MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Mr Oscar Mabuyane, says the country “needs to focus on empowering real entrepreneurs and said over time the Tender System must be phased out and be replaced with a more feasible model”. Mabuyane lauded companies that improved their productivity through implementing the Workplace Challenge Programme. The Workplace Challenge Programme serves as one of government’s interventions to improve the productivity of South African companies to enable the enterprises to fortify their competitiveness and contribute to economic growth in the country.
Since 1998, the programme has helped more than 400 companies, employing more than 70 000 people. The Workplace Challenge Programme improves productivity and competitiveness through measures such as:
• Implementing Processes for Continuous Improvement
• Improved Value Chain Efficiencies
• Supporting Enterprises in Clusters for Industrial Competitiveness
A prime example of the Workplace Challenge programme at work was East London based company, Anax Logistics. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company and owner, Ntsikelelo Eric Mgqibelo, outlined how his company has experienced a 200% staff increase.
Anax Logistics is a company formed in 2007 by Mgqibelo and at inception provided non-core services for Mercedes Benz SA (MBSA) at its manufacturing hub in East London. With a vision to establish itself as a trusted brand in providing Logistics Solutions through the provision of transportation, warehousing and logistics services, Anax Logistics, performed for MBSA with unparalleled gusto and has also provided Total SA with warehousing and distribution of fuel and lubricants for the entire Eastern Cape region.
Mgqibelo says the ‘Workplace Challenge Programme played a significant role in his company‘s growth. Other companies that benefited from the programe included Art Versatile which is owned by artist, Litha Ncokazi. The Chief Executive Officer of Productivity SA, Mothunye Mothiba, says Productivity SA prides itself at seeing the programme encourage innovation.