Research to promote South Africa's productivity underway

RE: Research to promote South Africa ‘s productivity underway   

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Productivity SA have embarked on a joint research project to conduct research on productivity and decent work in South Africa.  The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Productivity SA, Mr Mothunye Mothiba, says the aim of the collaborative research between Productivity SA and UWC is geared towards identifying much-needed measures to overcome deeply rooted problems in the South African economy.  

Mr. Mothiba says the establishment of the partnership between Productivity SA and UWC occurs against a backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic which has negatively impacted workers, Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and millions of South Africans without quality work and the unemployed. The CEO of Productivity SA says with the unemployment rate predicted to hit 50%,  Productivity SA and UWC have agreed to add their value and expertise in efforts to create decent employment, enhance productivity and grow the economy in the post-Covid-19 period by establishing a collaborative platform for multidisciplinary research.

The research will focus on creation of decent work (productive enterprising activities) which also encompasses any activities creating value and income, as opposed to conventional job creation. This implies a multi-disciplinary research programme split into dedicated specific projects to deal with its different components. Each research project will include an analysis of what has been done in the past, what has worked and why certain measures that were taken to address the problems have not been successful.

Coordinator in the niche area of Labour Law in the Fourth Industrial Revolution at UWC, Prof. Darcy Du Toit says the research will be empirical in nature and aims to produce practical implementable recommendations. Prof. Du Toit says the research will focus on four key themes of:

  • Productivity and decent work in SMMEs
    The focus of this theme is on productivity, competitiveness and best practices in the era of innovation and rapid change, linked to strengthening SMMEs’ business efficiency, economic performance and readiness to adopt value-adding technologies.        
  • Promoting decent work and productivity in the informal sector
    Social dialogue processes and organisational structures have failed to represent the interest of the informal sector. Until these needs are addressed it remains unlikely that the decent work imperatives will be attained.
  • Youth unemployment challenges
    The research will focus on the drivers of youth unemployment and propose initiatives that target youth, turning their energy and desire for self-improvement into a driving force to reduce youth unemployment.
  • Labour market segmentation and transformative labour regulation
    The informal labour market is characterised by low productivity, low wages, unstable employment, little opportunity for advancement. This theme focuses on how decent work and productivity can be extended to the informal sector.

Productivity SA is a government entity with a mandate  to enhance employment growth thereby leading to South Africa's socio-economic development. The mandate of UWC is to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and scholarship, in keeping with international standards of academic quality. ENDS

For more information, Contact the Productivity SA media liaison office, Maupi Monyemangene, on 011 848 5397/ 0824473232 or send an e mail:  Issued by: Productivity SA