Deputy Minister Phathekile Holomisa addresses Productivity SA’s Productivity Promotion Seminar

SA companies urged to improve productivity Labour Deputy Minister, iNkosi Holomisa

Labour Deputy Minister iNkosi Phathekile Holomisa has urged South African companies to take advantage of Productivity SA’s Enterprise Support Programme (ESP) to elevate their productive capacity.

Productivity SA’s Enterprise Support Programme is one of interventions by the entity to help businesses to achieve a productive high-income economy which is globally competitive, targeted at the productive sectors of the economy that has a potential for labour absorption.

Holomisa was addressing a Productivity Promotion Seminar organised by Productivity SA and the Japan Productivity Center (JPC) held at Hilton Hotel in Sandton today. The Productivity Promotion Seminar was held to highlight the Application of the Japanese 5s (sort, set in order, sweep, standardise and sustain) and Kaizen (continuous improvement) Concepts for Productivity Improvement.

Holomisa, in his keynote address said that one of South Africa’s key priorities was to bolster and stimulate the sluggish economy to address the challenges of rising unemployment, poverty and inequality. He said as the country emerges from technical recession and navigate its journey towards radical socio-economic transformation, we should do this with the understanding that the foundation of any productive high income economy lies in a globally competitive, creative and innovative workforce.

The Deputy Minister called for an integrated approach to nurturing, attracting and retaining a first-world talent base to be implemented, emphasising that the Technical Cooperation with Japan should be central to any interventions. Holomisa urged all stakeholders in the economy to harness creativity, energy and initiatives of strategic partners, in particular the private sector and labour, as the primary drivers of South Africa’s growth aspirations.

We wish to see more small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the productive sectors of our economy participating in the programme and implementing the Kaizen philosophy, with management and workers trained and collaborating to improve the productivity of the enterprises.

This is one way for us to ensure optimal productivity, progress and resilient economies that will create more job opportunities and make South Africa and the continent at large to take their rightful place amongst the best economies in the world.

The Productivity South Africa and Japan Productive Centre (JPC) co-operation has been in existence for the past 12 years. At the heart of this co-operation between the two organisations is the promotion of productivity in Africa through sharing of Asian productivity experiences.

The Deputy Minister commended and expressed appreciation of Japan’s commitment to transferring its management philosophy and productivity improvement activities such as Kaizen, 5S, Quality Control Circle and Green Productivity to African enterprises and in particular to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

These best practices and highly acclaimed philosophies have helped Japanese companies across the world, to stand hand and shoulders above their peers in this regard, said Holomisa.

South Africa is one of 10 Pan Africa Productivity Association (PAPA) member countries that have taken advantage of the offer by the government of Japan and entered into a Technical Cooperation on Productivity Improvement with Japan Productivity Centre.

Japan’s management philosophy and Kaizen methodology, is effective as a key source of economic growth and competitiveness and, therefore, worth emulating. This methodology, which is internationally acclaimed as a continuous process of quality and productivity improvement in industrial development in particular, can be evidenced by the competitiveness of Japan and other countries in Asia, Holomisa said.

He said South African companies, and those in the rest of Africa that have adopted the Kaizen management philosophy, have gained the capacity to develop their own systems, methods, procedures and problem solving tools.

Holomisa said the Technical Cooperation with Japan has assisted in empowering over 40 staff members of Productivity SA who had an opportunity to go on study missions; and over 20 South African companies having been assisted by the Japanese experts as model companies in the implementation of the Kaizen Philosophy.

Some of these companies have demonstrated incredible productivity improvements and won National Productivity Awards, he emphasised.

Productivity SA Chairman, Mthunzi Mdwaba said South Africa’s developmental aspirations should be driven by the desire to drive a productivity-driven growth.

Source: Government of South Africa