Latest News

Brian Wilkinson GBCSA CEO
September 23, 2016

Green Building Council of South Africa aims to change perspectives during World Green Building Week

in Green Building and Sustainability
The impact of buildings on the environment is astounding, with the built environment currently accounting for 25% of the world’s water usage and 60% of its electricity. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Andrew Golding Pamgolding
September 23, 2016

Repo rate decision a timeous spring boost for home buyers says Dr Andrew Golding

in Office, Retail, Industrial, Hotels and Residential
Welcoming today’s decision by the Monetary Policy Committee meeting to again hold the repo rate steady, Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group, said that South Africa’s housing market continues to demonstrate maturity and ongoing resilience.
Lesetja Kganyago Governor
September 22, 2016

Repo rate unchanged in September

in Office, Retail, Industrial, Hotels and Residential
The Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has kept the repo rate unchanged at 7% per annum.
Mark Stevens SAREIT
Sep 22, 2016

Industrial sector holds prospects for listed property

There are opportunities for listed property companies in the industrial sector, especially in developing specialised…
Vincent Joyner Hospitality Property Fund
Sep 22, 2016

Tsogo Sun shakes up management of Hospitality Property Fund

Hospitality Property Fund will get a new CEO and financial director‚ following its takeover by Tsogo Sun.
Central Square Menlyn Maine ribbon cutting ceremony
Sep 21, 2016

Central Square introduces top shopping that puts the environment first

Central Square at Menlyn Maine opened today in Tshwane, introducing some of SA’s most environmentally-friendly,…
Joe de Beer Statistics SA
Sep 21, 2016

Consumer Price Index (CPI) eases slightly in August

The annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) eased to 5.9% in August 2016, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced on…
Louw Liebenberg Small
Sep 21, 2016

SA sees a return to stable rental growth

According to the quarterly PayProp Rental Index, the average South African rental for Q2 2016 was R6 570.50, a 6.4%…

Popular

Limpopo’s new R1 billion Thavhani Mall to open in August 2017

Aug 31, 2016
Thavhani Mall Aerial
The highly-anticipated R1 billion Thavhani Mall at Thavhani City in Thohoyandou will officially open on 24 August 2017,…

Redefine Properties expands footprint in flexible workspace solutions as it forms…

Sep 16, 2016
Joanne Bushell Vice President Africa Regus
To meet the demands of the growing number of companies looking to improve the utilisation of their office space, listed…

Growthpoint Properties acquires iconic Cape Town Foreshore development site

Sep 08, 2016
SiteB Lower Long Street Cape Town GRT
Growthpoint Properties today acquired Site B Lower Long Street in Cape Town’s Foreshore, securing and landmark…

South Africa’s top retail developments and designs are announced at shopping centre…

Sep 08, 2016
Mall of Africa featured
Mall of Africa in Midrand, Gauteng, has been named the winner of the sought-after Spectrum Award for the best retail…

Redefine Properties agrees to acquire JSE listed The Pivotal Fund in an all share…

Aug 30, 2016
Andrew Konig Redefine Properties CEO
JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) has announced its intention to…

Vukile Property Fund, Arrowhead Properties and Synergy Income Fund today announced…

Aug 29, 2016
Laurence Rapp CEO Vukile
Vukile Property Fund, Arrowhead Properties and Synergy Income Fund today announced they have concluded agreements for a…

Featured

  • CEO Profile: Hard work pays off handsomely for Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto Limited

    CEO Profile: Hard work pays off handsomely for Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto Limited

  • CEO Profile: Innovation, entrepreneurship drive Mercantile Bank CEO, Karl Kumbier

    CEO Profile: Innovation, entrepreneurship drive Mercantile Bank CEO, Karl Kumbier

  • CEO Profile: Dealmaking and passion for property steer Laurence Rapp to Vukile Property Fund CEO position

    CEO Profile: Dealmaking and passion for property steer Laurence Rapp to Vukile Property Fund CEO position

  • Tower Property Fund's wobbly share price not a true reflection of group’s meteoric rise

    Tower Property Fund's wobbly share price not a true reflection of group’s meteoric rise

  • NEPI investors rubbing their hands with glee as property portfolio rakes in dividends

    NEPI investors rubbing their hands with glee as property portfolio rakes in dividends

  • Every building counts for award-winning property industry powerhouse, Marna van der Walt

    Every building counts for award-winning property industry powerhouse, Marna van der Walt

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Featured Profiles

  • CEO Profile: Innovation, entrepreneurship drive Mercantile Bank CEO, Karl Kumbier

    CEO Profile: Innovation, entrepreneurship drive Mercantile Bank CEO, Karl Kumbier

  • NEPI investors rubbing their hands with glee as property portfolio rakes in dividends

    NEPI investors rubbing their hands with glee as property portfolio rakes in dividends

  • CEO Profile: Dealmaking and passion for property steer Laurence Rapp to Vukile Property Fund CEO position

    CEO Profile: Dealmaking and passion for property steer Laurence Rapp to Vukile Property Fund CEO position

  • Tower Property Fund's wobbly share price not a true reflection of group’s meteoric rise

    Tower Property Fund's wobbly share price not a true reflection of group’s meteoric rise

  • CEO Profile: Hard work pays off handsomely for Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto Limited

    CEO Profile: Hard work pays off handsomely for Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto Limited

  • Every building counts for award-winning property industry powerhouse, Marna van der Walt

    Every building counts for award-winning property industry powerhouse, Marna van der Walt

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Company Profile

Susan Burger & Associates

SUSAN BURGER & ASSOCIATES (SB&A) was established in 1992, initially specializing in the recruitment of Professionals in the Construction and Property Development Industry. Over the years, SB&A has primarily focused and successfully operated in the Property…

Property Leader

Gerald Leissner

Gerald Leissner

Gerald George Leissner serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Arrowhead Properties Limited.
Tuesday, 02 November 2004 02:00

SA holds its own in global call centre industry

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
The South African call centre industry has doubled in the past two years, with major international firms outsourcing business here.

By Charles Jonker

The South African call centre industry has doubled in the past two years, with major international firms outsourcing business here.

In Gauteng, which already controls 60 percent of the industry, call centre operations are expected to grow by 40 percent in the next six months and to have doubled within three years.

India has 50 percent of all global offshore agent positions, but is facing stiff competition from South Africa, the Philippines, eastern Europe and Mexico. However, India sees significant staff turnover with some operators reporting 300 percent annual staff turnover.

In South Africa, by contrast, absenteeism and attrition are exceptionally low. At Call Centre Nucleus in Sandton, operations manager Tanya Smith reports that, in the past year, attrition has run at 4.55 percent, with absenteeism below 5 percent even though some of their centres run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Silicon.com, a UK-based website, noted recently: "The UK call centre industry is still showing strong growth despite the threat from offshoring, but problems still remain with high staff turnover rates. One in four staff left last year on average, with the average length of stay being two years."

South African staff are showing stronger job commitment despite significant call volumes.

The new SA Tourism call centre, which began operating in September, is logging 5 000 calls a month, handled by 14 staff who speak English, Mandarin, Portuguese, German, Italian, French and Dutch.

The call centre industry is becoming an important source of foreign investment and job creation in South Africa. At Dimension Data's large contact centre operation in Sandton, 850 people work on one major US account alone.

At the high energy Standard Bank call centre run by Dimension Data in central Johannesburg, 49 agents have made 175 000 calls in little more than five weeks to check on whether bank clients are complying with new financial services regulations.

The agents have made 53 000 updates to the bank's database. That centre will run until December 2005 and makes an average of 9 600 calls a day. It is also one of the most cost-efficient contact centres in South Africa, given the low rentals and hi-tech secure accommodation found in central Johannesburg.

The Standard Bank contact centre is run by Daryl Shapiro who has 15 years call centre experience in the US and South Africa. He says that most companies go offshore to spread risk.

"At Dimension Data, we haven't taken away any American jobs. During the recent hurricane season in Florida, as an example, the billing and management hub of a major US client went down for close to a week, all those calls were transferred to us, we worked overtime and helped them avoid what could have been a calamity."

At Absa's Johannesburg call centre, 20 agents handle around 12 000 calls a month, or 525 calls per weekday for a US client, TransUnion. Although absenteeism is a low 7 percent, attrition is about 65 percent, mainly because US "awake" hours fall during the South African night 

Absa's Ronnie Tonkin observes: "Not everyone wants to come to work and leave at 3am. Anyone who can withstand these hours for long has pretty good stamina."

Tonkin says South Africa is becoming a preferred call centre destination because "ours is a service-orientated culture. South Africans will go out of their way to help. In India, 'agents' are very often little more than data-capture clerks."

Recent research by Deloitte UK estimates that in 2003, there were 80 000 full-time equivalent contact centre-seat positions in South Africa of which 10 percent to 15 percent represented offshore work, but represent 55 percent of revenue.

The most commonly offered foreign languages by South African contact centres include German, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and Hebrew.

South Africa's pluses include a strong English-speaking population with a clear accent, a sound skills base, good standards of education, sophistication, a strongly motivated service culture, cutting-edge technology and geopolitical stability.

Dutch companies are interested in our contact centres because of the similarity between Dutch and Afrikaans. With brief training, Afrikaans acquires a distinct Dutch accent.

Outsourcing to call centres is popular because of a high rate of first-call resolution. Smith notes: "We have a major internet service provider (ISP) client and have an 85 percent resolution rate on the first call. If the person who takes the call cannot resolve a technical query, he passes it on to a more skilled person. If no solution can be found, they may go to see the client. With the top 500 clients of that ISP, we monitor their networks and may pick up a computer glitch before they do, we will then alert them and find a way to resolve it."

Gauteng call centres are among the most technologically advanced in the world. Further deregulation is helping. In September, the government announced that South Africa's value-added network providers will now carry voice and data through leased lines.

By February, prices will be lower. The Deloitte study shows that in 2003, there was a 39 percent increase in the number of European financial institutions with offshore operations, and an estimated 500 percent increase in offshore jobs. By 2010, more than 20 percent of the industry's global cost base is expected to have shifted offshore (from Europe or north America).

Agents' starting salaries are on average a third less in South Africa than in the UK, but within competitive local rates.

An article in Newsweek (October 18) notes that "experts say [outsourcing has] actually helped save western European companies by improving their global competitiveness".

From the time of the industrial revolution, exploration, new machines and innovation have seen markets spread and grow - and that change has encouraged dramatic advances for the benefit of all.


Charles Jonker is the chief executive of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency


Publisher: Business Report
Source: Business Report

Listed Property, REIT, Real Estate Funds

Mark Stevens SAREIT

Industrial sector holds prospects for listed property

September 22, 2016 Listed Property, REIT, Real Estate Funds eProperty News
There are opportunities for listed property companies in the industrial sector, especially in developing specialised warehousing and distribution centres, say experts.

Office, Retail, Industrial, Hotels and Residential

Andrew Golding Pamgolding

Repo rate decision a timeous spring boost for home buyers says Dr Andrew Golding

September 23, 2016 Office, Retail, Industrial, Hotels and Residential eProperty News
Welcoming today’s decision by the Monetary Policy Committee meeting to again hold the repo rate steady, Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group, said that South Africa’s housing market continues to demonstrate maturity and ongoing resilience.

Green Building and Sustainability

Brian Wilkinson GBCSA CEO

Green Building Council of South Africa aims to change perspectives during World Green Building Week

September 23, 2016 Green Building and Sustainability eProperty News
The impact of buildings on the environment is astounding, with the built environment currently accounting for 25% of the world’s water usage and 60% of its electricity. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Commercial Property Auctions

Aerial view cold storage in Bellville

Second half of 2016 more positive for property sector, says Broll Auctions and Sales

September 16, 2016 Commercial Property Auctions eProperty News
Following the uncertainty prior to the elections, the second half of the year should be much more positive for the property sector, according to Norman Raad, CEO of Broll Auctions and Sales.

Africa, International Property News

Spur_Corporation

Spur Corporation FY headline earnings up 15.9% to R164.0m

September 14, 2016 Africa, International Property News eProperty News
Spur Corporation’s results for the year to June suggest the pressures facing consumers are being felt most acutely in the lower end of the market.

Construction, Energy and infrastructure

The Yacht Club Cape Town

Amdec’s The Yacht Club breaks ground with 80% of its apartments sold out

September 20, 2016 Construction, Energy and Infrastructure eProperty News
Construction has commenced at The Yacht Club, a unique R1.3bn mixed-use iconic development by the Amdec Group, South Africa’s leading developer of New Urban lifestyles.

Most Popular

Limpopo’s new R1 billion Thavhani Mall to open in August 2017

Aug 31, 2016
Thavhani Mall Aerial
The highly-anticipated R1 billion Thavhani Mall at Thavhani City in Thohoyandou will…

Redefine Properties expands footprint in flexible workspace solutions as it forms strategic partnership with Regus

Sep 16, 2016
Joanne Bushell Vice President Africa Regus
To meet the demands of the growing number of companies looking to improve the utilisation…

Growthpoint Properties acquires iconic Cape Town Foreshore development site

Sep 08, 2016
SiteB Lower Long Street Cape Town GRT
Growthpoint Properties today acquired Site B Lower Long Street in Cape Town’s Foreshore,…

South Africa’s top retail developments and designs are announced at shopping centre congress

Sep 08, 2016
Mall of Africa featured
Mall of Africa in Midrand, Gauteng, has been named the winner of the sought-after…

Redefine Properties agrees to acquire JSE listed The Pivotal Fund in an all share deal

Aug 30, 2016
Andrew Konig Redefine Properties CEO
JSE-listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties (JSE: RDF) has…