background invest in sa

One of the leading economies in Africa, with a well-developed infrastructure and established trade links with the rest of the continent, South Africa is a suitable base for servicing a global customer base, while also providing access to the rest of Africa.

Should you require more information on setting up business in South Africa, please contact us on info@bpesa.org.za / +27 (0) 83 657 3112.

Brands currently in south africa

We have collated detailed information to assist you on your decision making process.


South Africa’s GBS Value Proposition: 6S’s for Success

Strong foundation in contact centers and niche areas

  • Deep domain knowledge in financial services
  • Global delivery expansion from contact centers to non-traditional areas such as legal and healthcare, game development, mass communication & broadcasting, and learning management

Skilled and young English-speaking workforce

  • Fluent English-speaking talent with neutral accent and high empathy levels
  • Cultural affinity with the UK, Australia, and increasingly, the US
  • Availability of large, young, and trainable talent pool, with strong understanding of technology
  • Availability of talent across multiple cities; additional talent pool via impact sourcing

Sizable regional and domestic market opportunity

  • Gateway to the African continent
  • Large domestic market with increasing demand across telecom, BFSI, and retail industries
  • Growing demand for digital solutions such as mobile payment systems, big data, and analytics

Significant cost savings

  • 60-70% lower costs than the UK and Australia, 25- 35% lower than leading CEE locations
  • Incentives further reduce costs to bring them in the range of costs in the Philippines and India

Sophisticated infrastructure and enabling environment

  • Availability of robust infrastructure and high quality of life
  • Government support at national, regional, and sectoral levels to boost infrastructure and skill development
  • Global contact center standards – ISO 18295 is based on South African standards. Multiple companies are POPI and GDPR compliant and have achieved ISO certifications

Strengthening ICT and digital capabilities

  • One of the best ICT infrastructures in Africa
  • Shift toward tech-enabled value addition to enhance customer experience: Evolving capabilities in omnichannel, customer analytics and next-generation solutions such as cloud, cybersecurity, AI, ML, and big data & analytics

South Africa’s Global Business Services (GBS) Industry – Value Proposition Document


Large Talent Pool

There is a high availability of proficient English talent in South Africa, both written and spoken, with neutral accents and very high empathy levels. The current population of English speakers in the country is estimated to be 16.5 million with 410,000 English speaking individuals added to the national workforce each year. The youth population in the country (aged 18 – 35 years) is estimated to be 17.6 million. There are also pools of foreign speaking individuals that can service the Dutch, German, French and Italian markets.

BPESA Large Talent Pool Infographic

Deep Domain Skills

South Africa prides itself on its ability to offer both entry level customer service work as well as complex back office and niche domain services.

BPESA Deep Domain Skills Infographic alt


South Africa offers major cost savings to source destinations such as the Australia, the UK and the US of at least 40 - 45% on a steady-state operating basis (including overheads). This is supplemented by a national BPS incentive through the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) which pays prospective investors up to R290,000 per job created.

BPESA Cost Infographic


South Africa’s infrastructure is world class, from road and power through to education, healthcare and entertainment, making it a conducive business and investment destination.

BPESA Infrastructure Pictogram

Robust Enabling Environment

The South African government works closely with the private sector, industry bodies and investors to create an enabling business environment. This is augmented by key partnerships between the industry association and international bodies such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC) and the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP).

BPESA robust enabling environment infographic050619


South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries with a lifestyle to match. From fine dining to outdoor adventures to world class schooling, it’s an expat experience that is hard to beat. Below are some details and links that will give you a window into why South Africa is one of the best places to live in the world.

BPESA Lifestyle Infographic lr



Land, Mobile, Internet

South Africa’s telecommunications infrastructure is considered to be the continent’s most advanced in terms of technology deployed and services provided, with a network that is 99.9% digital and includes the latest in fixed-line, wireless and satellite communication.

BPESA Land Mobile Internet Infographic

*Source: ICASA


Broadband Connectivity

“South Africa Connect” is the government’s national broadband policy and associated strategy and plan. The vision for broadband in South Africa is “a seamless information infrastructure by 2030 that will underpin a dynamic and connected vibrant information society and a knowledge economy that is more inclusive, equitable and prosperous.” Targets set for 2030 include a 100% penetration at 10Mbps and 80% penetration at 100Mbps.

This information has been supplied by Internet Solutions.



Fibre Network

South Africa’s fibre network is extensive and currently connects the major metropolitan areas of Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria/Tshwane and Port Elizabeth with other major cities and business centres nationally, regionally and globally.

BPESA Fibre Network Infographic


Global Links: Undersea Cables

South Africa’s total international internet bandwidth (Mbps) capacity increased by 61.7% from 2016 to 2017. According to ICASA, international outgoing bandwidth increased by 81.2% to 244,006 Mbps and incoming Internet increased by 50.9% to 366,394. South Africa’s undersea cables link the country to the global communications grid and include:



East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) 

  10 Tbps (10,000 Gbps)

West African Cable System (WACS)

    5 Tbps   (5,000 Gbps)


  12 Tbps (12,000 Gbps)


    0.78 Tbps (780 Gbps)


  72 Tbps (72,000 Gbps)


The following infographic shows how Internet traffic from a local device reaches an international server as well as the different connection points of the undersea cables across the African continent.

BPESA Undersea Cables Infographic reduced

The Eastern African Submarine Cable System, better known as EASSy, went live in July 2010. The 10,000km EASSy cable system connects South Africa to Sudan and connecting cable networks in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The EASSy cable system has a capacity of 10 Tbps.

The West Africa Cable System (WACS) was launched in May 2012 with a design capacity of 5.12 Tbps. The 17,200km WACS fibre optic submarine cable system spans the west coast of Africa, starting at Yzerfontein near Cape Town, South Africa and terminating in the United Kingdom.

The Seacom 15,000km cable system runs on the East Coast of Africa, and connects South Africa to London. Seacom launched with  adesign capacity of 1.28 Tbps, and increased its capacity to 12 Tbps in May 2014.

SAT-3 connects South Africa with Europe on the West Coast of Africa, while SAFE provides redundancy on the East Coast by connecting the country to Malaysia. SAT-3 has a capacity of 340 Gbps while SAFE has a capacity of 440 Gbps.

South Atlantic Express (SAEx1)
The South Atlantic Express (SAEx1) is a 72 Tbps submarine cable system connecting South Africa directly to the US, Brazil and the US, with branches to Namibia and Saint Helena.


Telecom Costs

As a result of liberalisation measures as well as the significant number of international submarine fibre optic cables landing in South Africa, the cost of telecommunications has reduced considerably in recent years and this downward trend is expected to continue.

  • Landlines: the average cost of a landline is around R200 ($14) per month, with combined phone and Internet packages starting at around R600 ($42) per month.
  • Mobile phones: 90% of the national territory is covered by a GSM network. Most major international phones work in the country.
  • Internet: coverage in South Africa is mostly restricted to urban areas and some users are restricted to dial-up as broadband availability is limited, though improving. Prices start at around R700 ($49) a month.
  • Wireless broadband: is available in the cities and hotspots are ubiquitous in hotels, cafes, and other public areas.

Services Available




Indicative Pricing





1 Gbps unlimited data
$1,600 - $1,800 per month





$0,14 per minute





$0,05 - $0.21 per minute (local) 
$0,36 per minute (international)

Fixed Line




$0.02 - $0.04 per minute





$40 for 100 GB of data per month



Office Grading

Commercial property in South Africa is generally referenced as either Premium, A, and B grade offices. These can be explained as follows:

  • Premium Grade (P): Top quality, ultra modern, new development, high rise or secure office park environment, good parking ratio, superior finishes, security and location.
  • A Grade (A): Modern office building, high rise or office park environment with good parking ratio, superior finishes and good security.
  • B Grade (B): Generally older buildings but with modern finishes, refurbishments and rennovations, on-site parking.

Office Rentals and Operating Costs

The office rentals applicable to the commercial building grades are as follows:



Average Monthly Rentals

Cape Town

P Grade

R250 ($17.28) per m²


P Grade

R210 ($14.52) per m²


P Grade

R222 ($15.35) per m²


P Grade

R195 ($13.48) per m²

Port Elizabeth

P Grade

R145 ($10.02) per m²

Cape Town

A Grade

R143   ($9.89) per m²


A Grade

R140   ($9.68) per m²


A Grade

R144   ($9.96) per m²


A Grade

R135   ($9.33) per m²

Port Elizabeth

A Grade

R115   ($7.95) per m²

Cape Town

B Grade

R127   ($8.78) per m²


B Grade

R131   ($9.06) per m²


B Grade

R117   ($8.09) per m²


B Grade

R103   ($7.12) per m²

Port Elizabeth

B Grade

R93     ($6.43) per m²


Escalation on rentals
On average 8% to 9% per annum

Parking Bays
R700 (R48) to R1500 ($104) per month/reserved single basement bay

R47/m² ($3.25) to R55/m² ($3.81) per month for general office consumption costs

R19.25 ($1.33) to R30 ($2.08) per KL for commercial consumption

NOTE: All figures exclude VAT at 15%.

The dtic & InvestSA: Investing in South Africa Roadmap 2020
Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Report Recommendations and Way Forward, March 2020
GBS Sector Jobs Report Q1 2020
2020 Top 5 Global BPO Offshore Locations
Adobe: 2020 Digital Trends in South Africa
SADA Pathways to Digital Work
SADA Media Release 2020 - Genesis Analytics
South Africa’s Global Business Services (GBS) Industry – Value Proposition Document
GBS Sector Jobs Report Q3 2019
BPESA Impact Sourcing Supplement 2019
IQ Business Social Progress Index (SPI) 2019
Global Business Services Sector Skills Strategy 2019-2023
World Economic Forum (WEF): The Global Competitiveness Report 2019
GBS Sector Jobs Report Q2 2019
2019 JCSE-IITPSA ICT Skills Survey
GBS Sector Jobs Report Q1 2019
BPESA Constitution
2018 Key Indicator Report
BPO Sector Jobs Report Q4 2018
2018 Incentive Guidelines for the Global Business Services Sector
BPO Sector Jobs Report Q3 2018
BPO Sector Jobs Report Q2 2018
BPO Sector Jobs Report Q1 2018
South Africa Salary Survey 2017
2016 Key Indicator Report
Analysis of South Africa as a BPO Delivery Location
National Skills Development Strategy III
Immigration Regulations
Industry Skills Strategy 2015
SETA Skills Landscape 2015
South African Economic Landscape
Key Indicator Report 2015
LPO Report 2015
Key Indicator Report 2014
Agent Profile
Coach Profile
MI Consultant Profile
QA Consultant Profile
Team Leader Profile
Trainer Profile
WFM Consultant Profile
Industry Skills Requirements 2013 Research Feedback
Industry Skills Requirements 2013 Research Feedback
Developing Talent
Services SETA Grant Regulation
Human Capital and Skills Development
White Paper for Post-School Education and Training
Immigration Regulations
QCTO Roadshow 2013
Learning and Development BPO Report
South Africa's Maturing BPO Service Advantage 2013
Amazon Case Study 2012
Pivotal Training 2013
Gareth Pritchard Interview 2012
Professional Body Policy SAQA
Coronavirus BPESA Best Practice Guide 23 March 2020 15h00
South Africa GBS Sector Industry Information and Insights
South Africas GBS sectors value proposition brochure
2019 South Africa Finance & Accounting Market Intelligence Report