A bid to up the export industry in KZN sets off

A bid to up the export industry in KZN sets off:

A bid to up the export industry in KZN sets off

In a coordinated effort to grow the export industry in KwaZulu-Natal, the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) and Productivity SA introduced a programme to improve the productivity and competiveness of exporters and prospective exporters in KwaZulu-Natal.

The programme aptly named the KZN Exporter Competitiveness Programme (KECP) was launched at an event held at the Coastlands Hotel in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The Deputy Director General of Economic Development and Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Mr Sihle Mkhize, standing on behalf of the MEC of Economic Development and Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA, Mr Sihle Zikalala, said “The KwaZulu-Natal Exporter Competitiveness Enhancement Programme is a customised offering which is the first of its kind in South Africa and is meant to directly stimulate the province’s competiveness. The programme was initiated and funded by EDTEA, and is being implemented in partnership with Productivity SA. Recently, SEDA have also come on board and pledged funding support for the emerging exporters, as well as business development support for the programme, while Trade and Investment KZN will assist in driving market access for participating companies.

Through this programme we aim to address four main pillars. Firstly, we would like to address firm-level productivity. Hence, we forged this partnership with Productivity SA who are experts in productivity enhancement. Secondly, we intend to increase global market access for KZN businesses, resultantly increase the value and volume of KZN exports. Part of our vision is to achieve this through increasing our footprint on the African continent and within the BRICS countries. Thirdly, we would like to enhance the province’s value chain efficiency.

The Department is already driving the Special Economic Zones and Industrial Hubs initiatives in KZN. As such, in order to enhance value efficiency we will continue to invest significantly in industrial parks in order to ensure that our firms benefit from economies of scale. The fourth aspect of the programme is aimed at stimulating innovation within our province by facilitating strategic partnerships between government, business and research organisations. Hence, we would like to not only strengthen our ability to absorb modern technology, but also capacitate ourselves to create new technology.”

The Chairman of the Productivity SA Board Mr Mthunzi Mwaba reiterated that the “the programme stands to improve the productivity of the exports industry in KwaZulu-Natal”. Mdwaba said “You cannot talk about the minimum wage without talking about productivity” Mdwaba, lamented that “the National Development Plan (NDP) has minimal information on productivity improvement in SA. Productivity SA is established in terms of section 31 of the Employment Services Act, No. 4 of 2014 as an Entity of the Department of Labour, with the mandate to promote employment growth and productivity.

The key objectives of the programme includes a drive to improve and modernise KZN exporter practices and infrastructure, create opportunities for the previously disadvantaged and enable Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) to actively participate in the export market.

The programme has created cluster of companies whereby the companies collaborate to share best practices and the approach is also proving to be beneficial to SMMEs who stand to leverage greatly from established entrepreneurs.

The KECP will form part of the KZN Export Strategy. A key strategic partnership with Productivity SA would merge the export development and growth aims of EDTEA with Productivity SA’s expertise in capacity building and productivity improvement.

Macro level objectives of the Competitive Enhancement Programme are:

• to assist KZN enterprises to meet the challenge of entry in the global market and become more productive and competitive.
• improvement and modernization of KZN exporter practices and infrastructure.
• to create opportunities for the previously disadvantaged entre and SMMEs to actively participate in the export market.
• To improve competitiveness in targeted sectors

The enterprise level objectives of the Competitiveness Enhancement Programme are to improve productivity and competitiveness of KZN Exporters or potential export enterprises through:

• Training: Facilitation of training that focuses on the improving export readiness and competiveness of KZN business through imparting export, productivity and competitiveness best practice to programme participants.
• Productivity Appraisal: Appraisal of participating emerging and regular exporters through export industry evaluations and walk-ins that will survey the status of the business and provide tactical interventions for improvement
• Mentorship and Continuous Support: Monitoring the continuous improvement of programme graduates. In constantly evolving market conditions, exporters who participate in the programme become a part of a lifetime support network that serves to constantly inform, mentor and monitor the continued improvement of programme participants.

In the first phase of the programme 20 companies have already signed up and R2 million disbursed for training and development.

END.

ENQUIRIES
Mr Maupi Monyemangene
Media Liaison Manager; Productivity SA
maupim@productivitysa.co.za
Telephone +27 (0) 11 848 5397
Mobile +2782 447 3232
Follows us on twitter @productivitysa
www.productivitysa.co.za

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