The Department of Trade and Industry has through the Workplace Challenge Programme (WPC) sustained over 50 000 jobs while a further 250 has been created over the last two decades.
Speaking at the 20-year anniversary celebrations of the WPC in Botshabelo in the Free State, the department’s Chief Director of Space Affairs Nomfuneko Majaja said the programme has made remarkable progress.
“These figures are a sure sign of progress and we must sustain it and forge partnerships with the WPC programme to support our flagship programmes such as the Black Industrialists Programme, the Industrial Park Revitalisation Programme and the Special Economic Zones Programme.
“We also see the WPC Programme building a competitive manufacturing sector within the Industrial Policy Action Plan,” she said on Tuesday.
The programme is a joint initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and Productivity South Africa (Productivity SA). The programme is implemented over a 24-month period with the aim to encouraging and supporting negotiated workplace change to improve productivity and job creation.
Majaja further mentioned that enterprises that had participated in the WPC programme had been collectively funded to the tune of R151 million and had generated more than R1.88 billion in total turnover.
Majaja further outlined that a web-based monitoring and evaluation system has since been launched in order to measure the impact of the WPC on participating companies.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Productivity SA Mothunye Mothiba appealed to prospective entrepreneurs to generate ideas amongst each other, to test the feasibility of success of these ideas and to pursue those that demonstrate potential of success.
“We must accept that productivity is the most effective tool to maximise production, especially amongst our small and medium enterprises as they are the catalysts for economic growth. By helping our enterprises enrol on the WPC Programme we will be equipping them with the means to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality,” said Mothiba.
Mothiba’s comments come ahead of the upcoming national Workplace Challenge programme national awards which will take place on Friday. - SAnews.gov.za