Pretoria - The Business Process Services (BPS) industry has been steadily increasing in size and importance to the South African economy and has proven to be a sector with potential for job growth.
This is according to Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, who delivered the department's Budget Vote in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Parliament on Thursday.
"To date, 23 applications for the BPS incentive scheme have been approved, potentially leveraging R4.1 billion worth of investment and 15 149 jobs over three years," he said.
"Close to 3 400 young trainees were trained under the second phase of the Monyetla Work-Readiness Programme, 70 percent of whom were placed directly into employment. Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape have benefited substantially from the BPS investment and the Eastern Cape and Limpopo are emerging as growth areas," said Davies.
Also speaking was the Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe who said the department was in the process of reviewing the Cooperatives Act as part of efforts to promote the development and growth of cooperatives in South Africa.
"The purpose of reviewing the cooperatives legislation is to enhance the capacity and streamline the delivery mechanisms of cooperatives, reduce the regulatory burden on cooperatives, and to enhance compliance, coordination, administration and sustainability of cooperatives," Thabethe said.
She said the department had established 220 small scale cooperatives in order to increase and grow the pool of cooperatives.
In addition, 175 cooperatives were trained and 115 were provided with market access covering both local and international markets during the last financial year.
Thabethe said the department has joined the world in celebrating the International Year of Cooperatives which was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in order to highlight the contribution of cooperatives to the socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.
The theme of the International Year of Cooperatives is 'Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better Word'.
"We are going to use the celebration to encourage the growth and establishment of more cooperatives all over the country," Thabethe said.
Thabethe said this year, the International Day of Cooperatives will be celebrated in Kimberley in July, where members of cooperatives from all the provinces will converge and assess the state of cooperatives in the country.