Cape Town outsourced contact centre operator 118Contact has been awarded the tender to operate the contact centre for Cape Gateway, the Western Cape Provincial Government’s flagship e-government information initiative.
“The province is delighted to be able to award this contract to a local company that has proved its worth in a highly competitive sector,” says Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development & Tourism for the Western Cape. “My department actively supports the growth of the call centre industry in this Province as we believe that it can and will become a leading source of employment. The biggest comparative advantage we have in the Western Cape are our people and our positive attitude, and we are thrilled that tourists and locals alike will have the friendly voices of 118-Contact staff to assist them with information and advice.”
118Contact, previously known as Syntell Business Solutions, has an eight-year history including operating the call centre for the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. In 2008 the company was bought out by Roland Govender, one of its original founders, and four other shareholders and it is now 100% black-owned.
“This is an immensely important contract for us and we’re extremely grateful to have won it,” says Govender, who has previously urged government to support homegrown contact centre companies.
“We’ve been providing outsourced services for several years and are aiming for the international market, but that is extremely difficult without strong local support. We hope Cape Gateway will serve as a precedent for us to secure other government projects and boost the confidence of potential clients, both locally and overseas.”
Govender says the Cricket World Cup contract “really helped to put us on the map. We won it partly due to government requirements and support, and it helped us grow from a single seat to a 200-seat operation. So this kind of government leadership can make all the difference to a company’s growth.”
“We have excellent people, robust infrastructure that’s already paid for, and a lot of experience of how government works,” says Govender. “We’ll put all of that to work to maintain the excellent service already being delivered by Cape Gateway, as well as improving some areas of service such as first call resolution.”
“As BPeSA Western Cape (formerly CallingtheCape), it is encouraging to see the local government leading and showing commitment to transformation in this industry,” says BPeSA Western Cape CEO Sipho Zungu. “We will continue to work with both the public and the private sectors to create more, similar deals in future.”