The industry has welcomed the recent agreement whereby Telkom will reduce its rates for business process outsourcing (BPO) operators.
The move is expected to boost employment and encourage more companies to engage this market, says Pule Mokoena, group executive: marketing at Innovation Group.
The long-awaited pricing agreement was announced by Trade & Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa recently.
Says Mokoena: “This is something we have been waiting for. The agreement will empower technology enabled solutions providers like ourselves, enabling us to offer even better customised and tailor-made solutions to clients.
"Besides attracting more foreign direct investment, the cut in pricing will make operators more competitive and will enable them to pursue – and win – more business. This is likely to create thousands more jobs in the South African economy."
Karen Geldenhuys, MD of IT recruitment company Abacus Recruitment says former Trade & Industry Minister Alec Erwin sais in 2003 that he believed the outsourcing industry – just in call centre employment – could create 100 000 new jobs by 2005.
This has clearly not happened yet, she says, and one of the reasons has been the cost of communications.
“The BPO market sector is booming and more and more companies are realizing the benefits of outsourcing certain business activities. There is still room for growth in this market and, with the new announcement, it is possible that this industry, as it grows, could create an additional 100 000 jobs within the next three years.”