The Chief Director of Automotives at the the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), Mkhululi Mlota says the Quality and Productivity Improvement (QPI) training programme will help give South Africa an edge over its competitors in manufacturing in the automotive sector.
He was speaking at the launch of the QPI project, also known as Kaizen, in Johannesburg earlier yesterday.
The project was born out of a partnership and consolidated through a Memorandum of Understanding between the dtic and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
It is mainly aimed at improving quality and productivity in South Africa on lower tier component products in the automotive value chain, which also extends to the plastics and metals sectors.
The training will be done across the country and will be implemented through a network of organisations that form part of the dtic’s National Quality and Productivity Network (NQPN).
Among these, are the training institutions and service providers that support business management and skills support for the companies.
Mlota said one of the key objectives of the project is to strengthen the competitiveness of the suppliers in the automotive sector, in line with the South African Automotive Masterplan 2035.
“To realise some of the benefits of the project, including strengthening business competiveness and creating job opportunities, it is imperative that all stakeholders and beneficiaries embrace the common values of QPI promotion in South Africa.
“Kaizen is hands-on and practical expertise developed through a participatory, learning-by-doing, human-focused, and process-oriented approach. I trust that participants will fully apply themselves and work hard to develop their own capabilities which will subsequently ensure that we improve competitiveness of the industry,” Mlota said.
The Chief Representative of JICA in South Africa, Mr Karou Okada said improving productivity was critical in helping South Africa emerge from the current economic challenges, partly exarcebated by the COVID pandemic period.
“There are more than 250 Japanese companies in South Africa and since this project is focusing on the automotive value chain, although not limited to, some of the training sites are those of suppliers of Japanese companies.
“This project will create a win-win relationship between the government of South Africa and Japanese private sector companies through the sharing of knowledge, skills and benefits,” he said.
Source: South African Government News Agency