Experts hope to make country productive

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

South Africa has dropped three places in world productivity rankings, making it the third worst out of 55 economies.

These were the results of the most recent annual study of productivity done by Geneva-based business school IMD. South Africa slipped from 50th place in 2007 to 53 this year.

The US came first and Venezuela last.

How to improve our dismal productivity ranking will be discussed by world experts next week.

Experts from 42 countries will speak at the 15th World Productivity Congress at Sun City from Monday to Wednesday.

China, India and other countries which hosted the event in the past, got a boost to their economies from the advice they gained, the event's organiser Productivity SA said.

Iggy Sathekge, Productivity SA's executive manager, said this country's productivity levels have steadily deteriorated over the past few years.

South Africa is not alone.

Productivity has been slowing around the globe since the first World Productivity Congress was held in Bombay in 1974, according to US productivity expert Tor Dahl who is one of next week's key speakers.

Sathekge estimates it has saved more than 20000 jobs in the corporate sector through training and operating efficiency programmes that have prevented retrenchments.

Next week's conference also includes an award ceremony for local companies which have made the most progress in improving productivity over the past two years.