Productivity SA remains committed to its mandate of Job Creation
20 September 2023

In a commitment to transparency and effective communication, Productivity SA, which is established in terms of Section 31 of the Employment Services Act, No. 4 of 2014, as a juristic person, would like to shed light on its recent achievements. In this statement, we focus on the remarkable achievements and contributions that Productivity SA, as an entity of the Department of Employment and Labour (Department), and Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba, as the Board Chairman, have made toward the shared goals of driving productivity, innovation, and sustainable growth in South Africa.


As a schedule 3A Public Entity, Productivity SA carries the responsibility to fulfil an economic mandate of government, which is to promote employment growth and productivity thereby contributing to South Africa's socio-economic development and competitiveness. The Entity plays a pivotal role in creating an enabling environment for competitive and sustainable enterprises that create sustainable value. Our mission remains steadfast, and we have made significant strides in fulfilling our commitment to improving the competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises, particularly Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa.


The Board of Productivity SA under the chairmanship of Professor Mthunzi Mdwaba, has diligently dedicated a lot of effort to ensure adherence to the highest governance and regulatory standards, with an unqualified audit opinion over the past decade. This was achieved, whilst at the same time delivering on the expanded mandate of the Department of Employment and Labour by enabling job creation and enhancing South Africa's productivity. The Board has diligently ensured the alignment of Productivity SA's Annual Performance Plans(APP) with this overarching mandate and strategic vision. In pursuit of the employment growth agenda, Productivity SA has also aligned its Enterprise Development and Support Programme interventions to other government programmes, including the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan to create a positive impact on the long-term competitiveness and sustainable growth of South Africa.


Productivity SA's Annual Performance Plan results for the 2022/23 Financial Year stand at a formidable 92% achievement, which is a significant improvement from 75% in 2021/22 and 67% in 2020/21. Pursuant to ensuring the continuous creation of new job -


and growth opportunities for our people we are obliged in our resolve to leverage on innovation, technology and novel approaches to keep up with the demands for jobs in the country. The viability of some job creation innovations and initiatives, especially those with novel approaches can only be tested once they have been implemented, and this should not make them any less worthy of being given an opportunity.


During the 2022/23 financial year, 4 364 SMMEs, entrepreneurs, workers and managers as well as productivity champions were capacitated on productivity tools and trained on competitiveness improvement initiatives. The Workplace Challenge (WPC) Programme supported 100 of the enterprises. The WPC is funded by The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic). Of the WPC businesses supported, 64% are black-owned businesses; 65% of the businesses have part or full women ownership, and 27% of the businesses have part or full youth ownerships. Over 3 241 jobs were preserved through these interventions.


Productivity SA is also beginning to see the positive results of the Turnaround Strategies and Labour Activation Programmes as promulgated in Section 7 of the Employment Services Act, No. 4 of 2014, and Section 5 (d) of the Unemployed Insurance Amendment Act (UIAA), No.10 of 2016, respectively. All the commitments made over the past three years to support companies facing economic distress and preserve jobs (as per the Funding Agreement with the UIF) through the Business Turnaround and Recovery (BT&R) Programme have been exceeded. Over 294 companies facing economic distress were supported against a target of 174 over the past three years. In addition, over 1 665 achievements on the target to train and capacitate Future Forum members, and both these interventions resulted in over 15 563 (181%) achievement on the target for jobs preservation/retention.


The Business Turnaround and Recovery (BT&R) programme's annual performance for the 2022/23 financial year showed further successes in that the achievement for the number of companies supported totalled 78 against a target of 67, while over 792 Future Forum members were trained – exceeding the target of 201 by more than 360% and saving 4 983 jobs in the process. One of the key pillars underpinning this outstanding achievement was the resolution to make it mandatory for every business that received assistance for the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) to implement the BT&R Programme. In this way, we have created synergy between our financial and non-financial instruments aimed at jobs preservation.


It is worth noting that not only did the BT&R assist in the preservation of jobs within the distressed businesses, but also its turnaround strategies led to the creation of 1 147 jobs over the past three years. This achievement provides us with solid evidence that the BT&R Programme is an effective employment and labour market instrument with a proven track record to alleviate the plight of workers facing the threat of retrenchments.

The BT&R Programme is playing a significant role in ensuring that no one is left behind. To this end, 9 of the businesses supported are owned by people living with disabilities. Furthermore, 576 (3,7%) of the jobs preserved were for people living with disability. We expect that this trend will continue throughout 2023/24 because of an agreement reached for the programme to support 13 Supported Employment Enterprise factories. -


It is worth noting that Professor Mdwaba has, as chairman and non-executive director of Productivity SA ensured the future relevance and sustainability of the entity. Professor Mdwaba has through his business development capabilities and network of both local and international partners opened up opportunities for the entity.


It is through his relentless efforts that Productivity SA got sponsorships from SASOL and Arena Holdings. Further to this, it is through his association with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that South Africa has been recognised to actively participate in the ILO's Productivity Ecosystem for Decent Work project. Launched in December 2021, this global initiative, supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), addresses constraints to productivity growth and decent work. It aims to promote productivity growth and decent work practices in an integrated manner. The project is being piloted in Ghana, South Africa, and Vietnam. Implemented by the ILO Enterprises and Employment Departments, this initiative is funded with a budget of USD 16 million and is scheduled for completion in 2025. Notably, Productivity SA chairs the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) responsible for developing and implementing the programme.


At Productivity SA, our commitment to our stakeholders remains unwavering.

We hold in high regard our employees, who tirelessly work to advance our mandate and values, and we are dedicated to ensuring their growth and well-being. Our clients and partners are essential to our success, and we are fully committed to delivering value, innovation, and excellence in all our interactions with them. We also recognise our responsibility to the broader community and strive to be a positive force for societal development. Prof Mthunzi Mdwaba, as our Board Chairman, shares this commitment wholeheartedly. We collectively pledge to continue serving the interests of all our stakeholders with dedication, transparency, and integrity, fostering trust and mutual growth.




Issued by Productivity SA

For any enquiries, please contact:

Productivity SA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Mothunye Mothiba

Mobile: 082 771 3266

Tel: (011) 848 5300