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- a “loss of an industrial giant, a thoughtful voice and a great South African” - Minister Ebrahim Patel.

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel, today sent his sincere condolences and that of the South African Government to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Dr Johan van Zyl, the Chairman of Toyota SA. The statement follows.

Dear GBS Stakeholders
South Africa is amid a 3rd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with the infection rising at different rates across regions of the country. As expected, this has created alarm and concern amongst residents, their families and friends, and South Africa’s stakeholders who live outside of the country.

Based on the Risk Adjusted Strategy, adopted by the Government, President Ramaphosa announced today that the Alert Level would be raised to an Adjusted Level 4 for a period of 14 days from 28 June 2021 to 11 July 2021. Tighter restrictions have been implemented focussing on limiting social contact while preserving the economy and livelihoods. These restrictions target public gatherings, schooling, and the sale of alcohol, and include a curfew from 9pm to 4am; to limit social contact and reduce the demand on hospitals until we have passed the peak of this wave and have capacity in all health facilities to provide the right level of hospital care to those who need it.

We are understandably responding to many questions about the restrictions and their impact on the sector by stakeholders within and outside of South Africa. Our partners in government have drafted a joint letter (attached below) which we wish you to read and to share with your stakeholders who have concerns about these or future restrictions being implemented that will impact the sector, specifically the export segment of the sector. Hopefully it will address these concerns and provide them with the assurance that the regulations that are already in place and the sector specific protocols cater for all export work to continue without disruption, regardless of which Alert Levels, and adjustments are implemented; and only those services expressly prohibited in the Gazette (to be published) will be affected domestically, these don’t include the BPO Sector.

Should you have any queries please direct these to your regional representative or EXCO portfolio representative who will address them or get them to the person in the best position to do so.

In addition to our continued efforts to implement the workplace health and safety protocols, Government in partnership with the private sector has accelerated the roll out of vaccines and people are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible to do so. The combination of these efforts will expedite the opening up of our economic activity and international travel

Please click here for the letter

Thank you
Andy Searle

By: Maryana Iskander, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator CEO

Last week’s Statistics South Africa Quarterly Labour Force Survey was a stark reminder that the “future of work” is no longer in the future. It has arrived, and it is here to stay. We must, once and for all, move past the traditional idea of a school leaver finding a straight path from education straight into long-term employment. Instead, we must solution around what the data has said for many, many years:  the new reality for young people is that they will ‘zig zag’ in and out of a rapidly transforming labour market where most entry-level work is short-term, transient, and non-linear.

We are delighted to share the GBS Sector jobs report for the quarter ending 31 December 2020. It has taken a while to publish as we needed to complete a lengthy process of reconciliation numbers across multiple sources, with lock down in 2020 also having impacted the timing of this process.

Nevertheless, the numbers are extremely positive and I’d like to use this opportunity to thank our global clients for their continued support and business, and to congratulate the operators who created 17,354 new jobs during the year of which 5,430 were created in Q4 alone.

Click here to download the latest GBS Sector Jobs Report

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After a second day at Africa Tech Week, bursting with tech trends and practical insights from speakers and acclaimed sponsors Vaxowave, Liquid Intelligent Solutions, Visa, PPC and Gijima, the overarching emotion is one of gratitude and the outlook optimistic. The main focus was strategies for living in a digital world - a reality that has abruptly arrived on the globe’s doorstep.


54 Million Jobs to be Created

As Zahra Baitie from the Jack Ma Foundation reiterated, Africa is a recently connected continent, new market and magnet for those seeking to make their mark on the world stage. Over the course of the two-day summit, Africa Tech Week certainly made a mark on the world stage! It is predicted that Africa will create 54 million jobs by 2022, largely generated by small and medium enterprises. According to Zahra, African women are twice as likely to start a business as women elsewhere in the world. Zahra maintained that African entrepreneurs have a massive opportunity to uplift the African community.


Africa boasts the Most Youthful Population in the World

According to Thomas Davin, global innovation director for UNICEF, approximately 60% of the African population is younger than 25, making Africa the most youthful population in the world. We need to upskill and equip Africa’s youth and ensure that they have access to technology and the internet. The education system is moving towards machine learning - enabling individual learning journeys. Thomas shed light on the notion that as humans change the way they interact with machines, they are more likely to change jobs (more so than previous generations).


The importance of Inclusivity

Honourable Emma Imamutila Theofelus, Namibian Deputy Minister of ICT passionately encouraged inclusivity regarding women in the workplace and in leadership. Afterall, women are the forerunners of the 4th digital revolution. Lawrence Reddy, Cloud CTO of Vaxowave SA, in a session sponsored by Vaxowave spoke on when cloud patterns become antipatterns. Vaxowave’s expertise includes cloud technology, and security. Their main objective is to provide clients, from across sectors, value from cloud technologies.

In a panel discussion, on building the future banking experience and how digital infrastructure facilitates economic growth, hosted by Visa, Aldo Laubscher, general manager of Visa,South Africa was quoted saying that, “regulation is going to be the maker or the breaker of African Free Trade." Terry Behan, executive head of design for Nedbank, in a session hosted by Nedbank on building a distinctive platform experience with AVO - Africa’s first super app, highlighted that their job is to connect consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses together, for societal gain.


An Optimistic Forecast

Tim Mitchell, head of digital transformation at Flux Labs highlighted that in 5 years time, the platform economy is forecast to be worth 60 trillion dollars. Enver Groenewald, group chief executive officer at Ogilvy SA described how both effectiveness and efficiency should be driven from the top. He reiterated that you either disrupt or be disrupted. In a panel discussion hosted by Liquid Intelligent Technologies on how Liquid Intelligent Technologies is building Africa’s digital future, the importance of vehement investment in local distribution, partnerships, people, teams and infrastructure was addressed. “We need to think globally and act locally,” according to Sandile Ntsele, chief financial officer at Liquid Intelligent Technologies, SA.

“African Time,” previously loaded with negative connotations, has been reclaimed. “African Time,” in fact, makes reference to the fast-paced and innovative way Africa is hurtling ahead towards digitisation.


DATE: 9 APRIL 2021


In a boost to business confidence, South Africa has won an award as the top global location for business process services, in a sector that is rapidly expanding locally and exporting call-centre and related services to other parts of the world.

Last night the country was named as the Most Favoured Offshore CX Delivery Location for 2021, in the Annual Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey.

This is a welcome achievement for the South African business service industry, which has positioned itself as one of the premier locations internationally for business services. It comes on top of a growth in jobs due to enhanced-partnerships with government.

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South Africa awarded Top 2021 Most Favored Global Offshore CX Delivery Location

The 8th April saw Ryan Strategic Advisory along with the CX Outsoucers team and a great line-up of global thought leaders announcing the outcome of the Annual Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey, 2021 Most Favored Offshore CX Delivery Location award. South Africa, after three consecutive years in a humbling second place, has emerged as the number one global preferred front office CX offshore location.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technological advances and the automation of many routine tasks – from contactless cashiers to robots delivering packages. In this environment, many are concerned that artificial intelligence (AI) will drive significant automation and destroy jobs in the coming decades.

Just a few decades ago, the internet created similar concerns as it grew. Despite skepticism, the technology created millions of jobs and now comprises 10% of US GDP. Today, AI is poised to create even greater growth in the US and global economies. Sixty-three percent of CEOs believe AI will have a larger impact than the internet, according to PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey.

While Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies driven by AI will continue to fundamentally change the world and the way we work and live, AI may not lead to massive unemployment. Instead, AI technology will create more jobs than it automates.

These newly created jobs will require new skills and necessitate significant investment in upskilling and reskilling young people and adults. But businesses and governments can – and must – work together to address this transition and embrace the positive societal benefits of AI.

Article Source - World Economic Forum

Click here to view the report

Driving Recovery in South Africa’s BPO Industry - Two powerful webinars were hosted by BPESA in September 2020 featuring Meleza Growth Accelerator – an initiative borne from McKinsey & Company’s social responsibility commitment.
Download the presentations and audio from the sessions. You can also read the support article which looks at the potential and opportunity for the BPO sector to create jobs in South Africa and move beyond the crisis.

Article: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/middle-east-and-africa/driving-economic-recovery-in-south-africas-bpo-industry?cid=soc-app

Webinar - Session 1 - Growth and competitiveness of the South African BPO sector
Growth and competitiveness of SA BPO sector PDF
Growth and competitiveness of SA BPO sector Audio

Webinar - Session 2 – Operating Model for BPO players in the post-COVID world
Operating Model for BPO players in the post-COVID world PDF
Operating Model for BPO players in the post-COVID world Audio

The South African Global Business Services (GBS) sector continues to buck the trend; not only has it pioneered best practice in 'keeping the lights on', but it is a sector that has arguably thrived in a global economic lockdown.

In South Africa, GBS extends across multiple sectors including finance and accounting, telecommunications and media, human resources and even legal services. As a result of innovative technology that is the backbone of the sector, operations were able to pivot to agile working arrangements including work from home, scaled down on-site operations and/or blended working models. This ability to maintain operations, keep workers employed and service a global market was strongly endorsed by Minister Patel of Trade, Industry and Competition as a blueprint for business in all stages of the highly regulated lockdown.

Fresh from raking in $250 million (R4 billion) worth of investments during the past financial year, South Africa’s business process outsourcing (BPO) market continues to thrive during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The industry is looking to hire as many as half a million employees in the next 10 years, if market conditions permit.

So says Andy Searle, CEO of non-profit organisation Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPESA), in an e-mail interview with ITWeb.

In a boost to the local BPO sector, US-based tech giant Amazon last month announced it is recruiting in SA to fill 3 000 new virtual job vacancies in customer service this year.

The interview with Searle followed BPESA joining 11 other independent regional organisations serving the BPO sector, also known as the global business services (GBS) sector, to create the Global Technology and Business Services Council.

The council comprises the leading GBS locations servicing over 10 000 organisations, including multi-nationals, indigenous tech companies, SMEs and start-ups.


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