Absa has opened a contact centre at the Coega Industrial Development Zone, creating 94 new jobs for people in economically depressed areas located close to the site.
Absa became the first investor in the business processing outsourcing (BPO) sector to locate in the Coega IDZ, ahead of international companies in talks with the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) for prime space in the massive BPO Park planned for Coega.
"The project came at the right time when we were making a concerted effort to attract companies in the BPO sector," says CDC business development executive Khwezi Tiya.
Head of the Absa contact centre, Andy Rigg, is pleased that the success of the project confirmed the bank's strategy of combining business with social imperatives.
The Absa Contact Centre at Coega started in January this year as a proof of concept.
The outbound facility currently employs 105 people, mostly from nearby townships of Motherwell, Zwide, Kwazekhele and New Brighton. The majority of these residents were previously unemployed or had very little work experience.
The initiative was aimed at doing business in a responsible way that enables people to uplift themselves through employment and business opportunities. The key focus was on affording work experience to unemployed individuals.
"This project delivers hugely on customer-centricity as well. The operation enhances Absa's offerings by using a skills profile that customers can relate to with regards to language, accessibility, maturity and excellent service standards," says Rigg.
Although configured to provide an end-to-end service to customers needing short term lending products, the Contact Centre is geared towards making a positive social impact in the economically depressed areas of the Eastern Cape.