CALL CENTRES: Minister Alan Winde announces multi-million rand investment in the Western Cape¬ís call centre sector
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A leading call centre company, with head offices in the Western Cape, has invested R500m into the regional economy, says Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde.
Minister Winde was speaking at a media briefing at Capita, one of the province’s biggest call centre operations.
Its client base includes international companies such as Amazon, Bloomberg and O2, which has more than 100 million customers in the United Kingdom.
“This sector is delivering a massive boost to growth and jobs, especially for our youth, which is the demographic with the highest rate of unemployment. We are focusing on this sector, which has an average entry-level salary of R6,500, because it is labour intensive and has a relatively low barrier to entry. Indeed, 70% of all employees are between the ages of 18 and 35 and carry only a matric. Creating opportunities for our youth to become employed is my top priority”, said Winde.
Minister Winde said the province already had the critical success factors in place to become a leading call centre hub in that it offered exceptional services to clients at a competitive price.
“I am pleased to announce that in recognition of our growing attractiveness as a leading call centre hub, South Africa recently scooped the European Outsourcing Association Destination of the Year Award at a ceremony in Amsterdam, an achievement in which the Western Cape played a major role. This award follows shortly after the country earned the National Outsourcing Association’s United Kingdom Destination of the Year Award. The traction we are gaining in this sector and the industry’s achievements will further position the Western Cape and South Africa as a leading call centre destination,” said Minister Winde.
Minister Winde said in this financial year, the Western Cape Government would support BPO investments worth R300m.
“These projects will create 2,500 jobs in the industry over the next few months. Currently the sector is worth an estimated R8bn to our economy and employs 38,000 people. I also recently learned of another exciting deal in the pipeline, which will make a significant impact on growth and jobs in our region. If this deal goes ahead, it will be the biggest secured by the province to date,” said Minister Winde.
Gareth Pritchard, the Chief Executive Officer of Business Process Enabling South Africa Western Cape (BPeSA), the Western Cape Government-supported regional outsourcing trade promotion association, said more than 4,500 had been created in 2012 in the BPO and contact centre industry.
Of this growth, approximately 65% has come about due to international investment with three of the world’s biggest BPO operators - Capita, WNS and Serco - all setting up operations in Cape Town during the past year. During 2013 we expect this growth to continue, with international brands across various verticals looking to the Western Cape as a strategic customer service base,” said Pritchard.
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