Known largely for its exotic jungle safaris, South Africa now eyes to be the back-office of world and in the process create thousands of jobs for its citizens. The country is wooing BPO players with incentives, which includes cash per jobs created on its soil and putting in place an enabling environment for outsourcing work.
"The country already has close to 10,000 BPO jobs and the government has enjoined upon itself to create an additional 30,000 jobs over the next five years," said Bulelwa Koyana, CEO of BPeSA (Business Process enabling South Africa).
The Government Assistance and Support (GAS) scheme launched by South African government in 2007 provides for a base incentive paid over three years for each BPO job created and sustained in South Africa. From July 2007 to March 2010, cash incentives totalled 688 million Rands (R430 crore) were approved by South Africa that promises to support 25,000 jobs and attracted 1.7 billion Rands (R1,000 crore) in investments. "These incentives reduce the cost of operations by 20% for a BPO company," said Koyana.
Around five of the top ten global BPO firms such as Accenture, Genpact, Deloitte and Aegis are already in South Africa.
"It is not only the incentives that determine site selection in a country rather stability of a location on key parametres such as availability of quality manpower, language capabilities and technological prowess. South Africa seems to offer all these," Keshav R Murugesh, group CEO of BPO major WNS said on the sidelines of Nasscom Leadership Forum.
Keshav said WNS is mulling to have a centre in South Africa which could become operational in the next financial year.
The BPO jobs in South Africa would largely be voice-based though the country intends to create an environment for specialised BPO work such as HR functions, accounting and finance related work.
India might still command over a million BPO jobs and be a market leader but with other countries fast catching up, it will have to do some hard work to attract more business.