Productivity SA, an entity of the Department of Employment and Labour whose mandate is to enhance employment growth, has partnered with the University of the Western Cape (UWC) to research ways to improve productivity in South Africa.
Productivity SA and UWC this week signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) towards collaboration on multidisciplinary research to provide value and expertise in an effort to create decent employment, enhance productivity and grow the economy post-COVID-19.
Productivity SA CEO Mothunye Mothiba said the research project would include an analysis of what has been done in the past, what had worked, and why certain measures to address problems had failed.
“This partnership occurs against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has negatively impacted workers, small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), millions of South Africans without quality work, as well as the unemployed,” said Mothiba.
“While we are faced with a devastating health crisis, with the unemployment rate predicted to hit 50%, this partnership cannot be a short-term programme, since the issues are complex and outcomes will need to be evaluated to determine further priorities, so we look forward to the successful implementation of this MoU.”
Although the parties have signed a statement of intent as well as the MoU, a formal launch of the partnership will be held in due course when more elaborate discussion and information will be shared on the research specifics.
Coordinator in the niche area of labour law in the Fourth Industrial Revolution at UWC, Darcy Du Toit, said the research would be both empirical and applied in nature, and it was envisaged as a phased programme producing interim recommendations for implementation and assessment within different sectors of the economy.
“The research will centre on four themes, which are productivity and decent work, especially in SMMEs, which will deal with competitiveness and best practices in the era of innovation and rapid change, linked to strengthening emerging enterprises’ business efficiency, economic performance and readiness to adopt value-adding technologies,” Du Toit said.