Gauteng looks to contact centres, tourism to stimulate economy
1 Nov 2011Contact Centre Business
The contact centre business has become one of the important employment creators in the world and a critical resource for service-based industries. Contact centres in South Africa have a comparative advantage when it comes to operational costs. It cost between 30% and 35% less to run a contact centre operation in the country than in the United Kingdom (UK) and the USA. Time is another factor that influences the decision by, in particular European companies, to outsource their contact centre operations to South Africa. This is because the country is in a similar time zone to the UK and Europe.
Gauteng has positioned itself to become one of the world’s leading players in contact centre provision. Since 2004, the province has embarked on a telecommunications broadband implementation strategy in the City of Johannesburg, which aims to reduce costs and take advantage of the Electronics Communication Act.
The implementation of this strategy will allow different municipalities to build their own networks. Investment in technological and telecommunication infrastructure puts the Business Process Outsourcing and Off-shoring (BPO&O) industry in a good position to grow further and attract offshore contact centres. As the economic hub of the country, Gauteng has been mindful of the potential growth of the BPO industries and has channeled its resources into creating an environment where contact centres can grow.
The 2011 Provincial Economic Review and Outlook (PERO) publication outlines the regional distribution of contact centres according to type for Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The document shows that over 68% of call centres in Gauteng are captive, 17% outsourced and 14.7% are both captive and outsourced. In the Western Cape, 57.5% of contact centres are captive, 23.4% outsourced and 18.7% are both captive and outsourced. In KwaZulu-Natal, 53.5% of the contact centres are captive, 26.6% outsourced and 21.3% are both captive and outsourced.
A captive contact centre refers to an in-house contact centre which serves the needs of the parent company or group. An outsourced contact centre refers to contact centre services which are done by a third party or by a specialist outsourcing company.
In 2009 and 2010, Gauteng experienced the largest inflow of tourists, accounting for a regional distribution of 47.3% and 49.4%. In terms of domestic tourists, the province accounted for the second largest share, followed by North West and KwaZulu-Natal.
This is why the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has identified tourism as a key sector to drive economic growth and development of the province into the future. This sector is viewed by GPG as one of the key mechanisms to achieve the provincial outcome of inclusive economic growth.
In view of the role played by this industry in the economy of the province, the Gauteng Department of Economic Development has introduced the Gauteng Tourism Development Strategy. The aim of this strategy is to position Gauteng as a leading tourism destination in South Africa and to develop it as a competitive tourism destination in Africa and the world. This will be achieved by linking the province’s economic, financial, industrial, commercial activities and the city-based entertainment and leisure activities. The tourism destinations in this regard include the Cradle of Humankind, World Heritage Site and the Vaal Dam area in Sedibeng.
Tel: 011 355 2161
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Issued by: Gauteng Finance
1 Nov 2011
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