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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the potential for business process outsourcing (BPO) development in South Africa by comparing the country’s attributes with the successful offshore service sectors that have developed in India and the Philippines. It places South Africa’s interest in offshore services-driven economic development in the broader context of the increasing importance of services as an employment sector in the South African economy. BPO would offer job development opportunities across a range of skills and for a diverse set of customers, opportunities that are very much needed in view of the high rates of unemployment, especially for the younger workforce. The need for increased employment has led to government policy encouraging BPO activity in the form of call centers, but with less attention as yet paid to higher-end sectors where the country has significant advantages, such as the finance sector. Large multinational providers (including several from India) have located in South Africa to provide services to customers in South Africa as well as to other parts of the continent. At the same time, South Africa also outsources a significant amount of IT and other services work to India.

Keywords: business processing outsourcing, offshoring services, India, Philippines, economic development, employment, call centers

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