This past week, I had the opportunity to participate in a national Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Investors Tour facilitated by Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPE SA) and CapeBPO, a City-funded industry partner. Read more below:

The Cape Town tour was one leg of a countrywide visit by the delegation of 20 potential investors engaging with these international representatives that allowed Cape Town to present the high-value investment potential of the Mother City.

With more than half of South Africa’s BPO businesses based in Cape Town, it’s clear that the Mother City is a big part of the country’s success in the industry.

Given the positive feedback during the visit, it is very apparent that the City’s work with industry partners to lay the groundwork for workforce development while simultaneously attracting investors is paying off.

In total, Cape Town’s call centre sector created almost 5 500 international jobs in 2021, bringing the overall jobs servicing global clients to over 42 000. Together with domestic-facing clients, more than 69 000 people now work in the sector in Cape Town.

In addition, the international BPO market in Cape Town last year contributed around R14 billion to the metro’s economy.

This kind of return on investment is why the City will be directing more funding towards the Cape Skills project, with CapeBPO facilitating the training programme.

To date, almost 1 400 unemployed and previously disadvantaged individuals have been trained for call centres and every single one of them has been offered permanent employment upon successful completion of their training. This is against a target of 1 100 people, meaning that the project has over-delivered by almost 30%.

These newly upskilled Capetonians now work across 17 call centres in and around Cape Town.

Thanks to programmes such as these, Cape Town has become an increasingly attractive BPO location for investors with Diep River-based business, Sigma, recently announcing that it just landed an additional contract by a long-standing financial services client that will add 30 new jobs.

Also, in September, Scottish firm, Ascensos, opened its Cape Town office – their first operation outside of Europe – that currently employs 150 people with plans to grow to 600 positions within its first year.

Realising the potential of Cape Town’s high growth industries will help to grow the local economy and increase job opportunities for Capetonians. This has been my goal since stepping into this mayoral committee position three years ago. Through our programmes and partnerships, we are achieving that goal.


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