Government remains committed to providing support to the country’s small and medium enterprises (SMMEs) as they are an important component to South Africa’s industrialisation, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.
“We cannot achieve the goals and objectives of our Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and radical economic transformation if we do not raise the competitiveness of our companies, particularly the small and medium enterprises.
“As a department we have recognised that we cannot industrialise if our companies’ competitiveness is not improved through government interventions such as the Workplace Challenge Programme. Today there are success stories from more than 1 100 companies that we have supported through this programme as a department in partnership with Productivity South Africa,” he said.
Speaking at the launch of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Workplace Challenge Programme (WPC) which took place in Cape Town on Friday, Minister Davies said government is committed to providing financial and non-financial support to SMMEs.
The WPC Programme is a two-year government intervention implemented amongst South African enterprises to improve their productivity and competitiveness, thereby ensuring sustainability of jobs.
The dti has been offering the WPC Programme to 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.
Minister Davies said companies that have participated in the programme have been able to create and save jobs after improving their performance, productivity and competitiveness.
Minister Davies pledged the dti’s commitment to supporting the programme and assisting companies to prepare themselves for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Productivity SA, Mothunye Mothiba, said the WPC programme will continue to play an important role of skills development.
“The Workplace Challenge Programme will continue to play an important role of skills development and encouraging innovation as well as enhancing social equity and competitiveness. The programme will dedicate its efforts to encouraging strong social dialogue geared towards encouraging growth in employment-creating activities,” said Mothiba.
The Workplace Challenge Programme improves productivity and competitiveness through measures such as implementing processes for continuous improvement, improved value chain efficiencies and supporting enterprises in clusters for industrial competitiveness.
Friday’s launch took place at TraX Interconnect, an electronics manufacturing company that is a beneficiary of the programme. – SAnews.gov.za