South Africa seeks call center investment

| June 1, 2005 | 0 Comments
South Africa seeks call center investment

South Africa is now actively pursuing a share of the international call center industry as more and more companies begin to outsource that aspect of their operations.

With an unemployment rate of 30 to 40 percent, call centers are seen as a good solution to at least part of that problem.

Supporters of bringing more call centers to South Africa say that in contrast to India, South Africa’s biggest competitor for jobs in the sector, South Africa shares a time zone with much of Europe, and it is more culturally aligned with Europe.

Another advantage, they say, is the similarity between the Afrikaans language and Dutch. While the two languages have diverged since the seventeenth century, they still share around 85 percent of words.

This makes it relatively easy to train Afrikaans speakers to operate in Dutch, besides serving the English-speaking populations of the UK and the US.

Currently, most of the 50,000 South Africans who work in call centers handle callers from their own country, but international companies such as Kodak, Samsung, and Lufthansa are now beginning to locate call centers in South Africa.

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