As companies worldwide respond to increasing cost and efficiency pressures, South Africa is becoming a favoured international location for business process outsourcing and offshoring.

According to Business Day, the local call-centre industry has grown by about 8% a year since 2003. It directly employs about 54 000 people and contributes 0.92% to South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP).


A government-backed BPO&O support programme, launched in 2007, aims to enhance South Africa's competitiveness.

South Africa has many factors working in its favour, including:

  • World-class service levels of call centre staff.

  • A broad base of management and service provider expertise, coupled with extensive financial services expertise, particularly in insurance, mortgage and loan processing and collection.

  • Time-zone compatibility with Europe.

  • High rates of fluency in English, coupled with neutral English accents that are easily understood in Western markets.

  • A favourable exchange rate.

  • Strong government support.

  • State-backed incentives, such as start-up and expansion grants and discounted telecommunications prices.

  • An advanced and growing telecommunications industry.

International companies that have already chosen South Africa as a BPO&O destination include IBM, Fujitsu Siemens, Lufthansa, Virgin, Sykes, Avis, Teletech and the Car Phone Warehouse.

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