The Workplace Challenge (WPC) Programme is an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) whose aim is to improve the performance and increase the levels of productivity and competitiveness of South African firms.


The WPC programme directly supports the dti’s vision,which is of a South Africa that has a vibrant economy, characterised by growth, employment and equity, built on the full potential of all citizens.


The programme directly supports the dti’s vision which is of a South Africa that has a vibrant economy, characterised by enterprise development, growth, employment and equity, built on the full potential of all citizens.
It supports this vision by contributing to the dti’s Broadening Participation Division (BPD), strategic objectives which encapsulates the improvement of Enterprise and Industrial Competitiveness:

  • Support Industrial Clusters: The Workplace Challenge will pay the highest attention to economic development considering the resources put in place and fostering strategic change through collaborative projects and above all, increase economies of scale both in analysing strategic challenges often shared by groups of companies and in implementing solutions.
  • World-class manufacturing: The Workplace Challenge directly assists enterprises to implement improvement practices for world-class competitiveness and best operating practices, it will further builds on existing assets and skills, promoting endogenous development rather than attracting external resources, therefore make participation be more efficient and affordable for communities with scarce resources.
  • Modern technical infrastructure as a platform for competitiveness: The Workplace Challenge will implement a collaboration framework with units such RIDS, Industrial Policy, and SMME unit to assist enterprises not only to understand constraints to productivity and competitiveness, but to access other forms of support to be more competitive.
  • Skills and education: Implement the development of Cluster Managers, and develop the capacity of both employers and workers to make change happen within participating enterprises as well as clusters and to develop Change Facilitators in change-management processes.
  • Empowerment and Enterprise Development with a bias on Increasing the Chances of Success of Black Owned Entities: The Workplace Challenge seeks to cluster small enterprises with larger well-established enterprises for purposes of networking and sharing information and lessons. The Workplace Challenge has also successfully established clusters of small enterprises. Furthermore, the Workplace Challenge will leverage on the fact that most of the clusters are growing through a series of spin-off operations, which means that the cluster approach is people-centred and based on entrepreneurship enhancement, an asset that is fundamental for any community to prosper and grow, and acknowledges that the level of productivity sets the level of prosperity that can be earned by an economy.

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