The Work Place Challenge (WPC) Programme makes a direct contribution to the achievement of decent employment through inclusive economic growth.

This is according to the Director of Skills for the Economy at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), Ms Shanaaz Ebrahim. She was speaking during the Mpumalanga leg of the milestone workshops for the programme.

The WPC was born out of a partnership between the dtic and Productivity SA. The workshop was held in partnership with Small enterprise development agency (SEDA). The sessions are aimed at creating an opportunity for companies to exchange ideas on how to deal with tough economic challenges and ensure their businesses thrive in the new world of work.

Ebrahim said the 24-year-old programme has grown to support more than 1 300 enterprises from a mere 46 on inception and has managed to sustain over 50 000 jobs through various interventions.

“It is important for the country to intensify all efforts at dealing with unemployment especially among young people in the country,” she said.

She added that government’s Reimagined Industrial Development and Economic Recovery Plan was one of the critical strategies in place to deal with some of the country’s persisting problems of poverty, lack of skills and unemployment.

“The government has committed to a manufacturing programme that will build and support the participation of Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the manufacturing value chain for the purpose of localisation,” she said.

She explained that the recovery plan further prioritises the involvement of township and rural enterprises in the manufacturing value chain; facilitating the participation of SMMEs in high-demand mineral beneficiation and revitalising dormant industrial production infrastructure,” she said.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Productivity SA, Mr Mothunye Mothiba called on the leadership of Mpumalanga economic cluster departments, to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of their economies and enterprises.

“Productivity improvement is the most effective way of ensuring long-term competitiveness, long-term business success, economic growth and, consequently, tackling the challenges of unemployment, poverty, inequality, and exclusion. It leads to growth, which leads to income levels and improved well-being.

He emphasised that the more productive the economy, the more its enterprises become competitive and sustainable as well as grow to preserve existing jobs and create new jobs.

The Director of Skills for the economy at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Shanaaz Ebrahim

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
Mobile: 079 5083 457
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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