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On Tuesday, 21 January 2020 the BPESA Team attended a session led by the Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI) in Sandton, Johannesburg in which representatives across diverse Sectors - public and private - gathered to discuss progress and updates on PPGI led projects and initiatives. The feedback was positive, particularly for our Sector (Global Business Services / Business Process Services) where collaboration between the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and BPESA have led to the creation of 20,000 net new jobs in the Sector since Jnauary 2018 with a growth target of 100,000 net new jobs planned for 2023.

The past calendar year has been a good one for BPESA and the Global Business Services Sector in South Africa. This newsletter presents me with a great opportunity to reflect on some of the highlights of the year and allows me to thank you, on behalf of our Board, our EXCO and our OPSCO for your unfailing support and tremendous success.

We have been participating in the South Africa in the Digital Age Initiative, together with the Department of Trade and Industry and Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, for the past number of months. Led by Genesis Analytics, this initiative was part of the work commissioned by the Pathways for Prosperity Commission.

BPESA would like to give thanks to additional Sponsors for this year's Global Business Services Investor Conference and Awards, taking place in Durban from the 19th to the 21st of November.

We are rapidly approaching 2019-year end and while the sector has enjoyed much success and progress, we look forward to the remaining initiatives and key tasks ahead before we get ready to tackle 2020. This newsletter highlights key developments progress made in the past few months and brings to your attention a number of important events and activities leading up to year-end.

BPESA and its partners in the dti and Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator are very happy to announce the official launch of the Global Business Services Skills Strategy for 2019 – 2023. It is the product of 18 months of work by the BPESA team and more than 80 skills practitioners and professionals from across the country who used the skills forum platform to formulate the strategy.

South Africa's Beacon of Hope - The GBS Sector


South Africa is a dichotomy currently swamped with negativity across various aspects of our society and economy - each issue is as pressing as the next. However, there is hope in the storm, between the cracks there are opportunities and BPESA as the Trade Body and Sector Association for the GBS sector along with its social and government partners are fixated on the potential and opportunities the global business services sector (GBS) has to offer.

The GBS Sector currently employs approximately 200,000 people in the domestic market and in excess of 60,000 people in the export market – all jobs are based in South Africa. Although local domestic growth is slower than desired, the export market has seen growth in excess of 22% CAGR for the past five years with an acceleration over the past 18 months.

This growth is the result of not only a committed sector and passionate, supportive individuals across a global community, but a concerted, collective effort by business, government and social partners.   The global collective are engaging in conversations on how they too can not only make an impact, but leave a legacy as result of their support.

Its’ not news that the export services in the South African economy represent some of the most addressable growth opportunities for the country and the broader African continent.   Jobs created through the international business community, intentionally committing to making a difference, are great quality jobs which provide the abundance of young people – who currently make up more than 90% of the South African workforce – a stepping stone out of often dire conditions.  The GBS sector is a large-scale employer of females consisting of over 60% of the employed and contributing workforce and people of colour make up 97% of this contingent.  On average each employed individual supports in excess of six family or community members, over 20% of the employed individuals working within the GBS sector are Impact workers i.e. previously unemployed marginalised individuals. 

The opportunity the sector offers to build skills that are in demand cross the broader South African economy allows the GBS sector to positively support the expanded economy in addressing skills needs.  Jobs within the sector offer youth a depth of knowledge and skills in good quality jobs and work opportunities setting them on a trajectory for both a career and life-time of employment.

Not turning a blind eye to the dire state of events, BPESA is preoccupied on how ‘We’ as a collective global community redirect the energy and reshape the story.  Engagement with local and international individuals and organisations who see the opportunity of changing the status quo through intentional partnership with the South African GBS sector to open up the multitude of opportunities on offer to allow our youth a future by tapping into the abundance of talent and skill.

BPESA along with sector partners including private, public and social are hosting an interactive learning and sharing event from the 19th – 21st November in Durban, KwaZulu Natal where we call on all local and global hero’s looking to Make an Impact… Shift a Country … and Leave a Legacy

If you would like to play a role in shaping a new story and changing the trajectory of skilled youth in Africa, this is your opportunity.  www.bpesa.org.za