South Africa has been announced as the winner of the Most Favoured Offshore CX Delivery Location for 2021, in the Annual Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey on Thursday.
The award means that the country has been ranked as the top global location for business process services.
The business services sector includes call centres, technical support, and back and front office services for multinationals and South African firms.
In a statement, minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel said: “The rapid expansion of business process services is a tribute to the skills of young South Africans and evidence of what South Africa has to offer as a business and investment destination.”
South Africa was ranked number two, last year, and in the current survey, the country has trumped India, the Philippines, Malaysia, Poland, Egypt, and Northern Ireland, to claim the top award for the first time.
According to the statement, while the sector growth was interrupted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 that led to the closure of businesses, Patel issued regulations during the lockdown that enabled call centres to support local and global essential services to continue to operate.
“Further support was provided by the Presidential Jobs Fund during the pandemic. Together with the department of trade industry and competition incentives, the jobs fund supported 14 300 new jobs in the sector with R1.9 billion in export revenue,” it said.
Patel said the sector is a large and growing employer of labour. "The ‘re-imagined industrial strategy’ outlined by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019 laid the basis for growing established sectors (like clothing, poultry, sugar, and steel) and emerging or new sectors (such as call centres, the green economy, and digital industries)."
The statement noted that the South African industry believed it is poised to experience even higher growth rates in the years ahead.
"The industry has set its sights on supporting employment and investment by growing the export segment of the business services sector to employ tens of thousands of new workers in the next few years," the statement read.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE