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Incentives available to Global Business Services (GBS) investors in the Eastern Cape

The ECDC has a generous incentive scheme for businesses setting up in the Eastern Cape.

Callzilla, a call centre servicing the US market, has chosen to locate its latest office in East London. Citing reports that South Africa is ranked third in the world among English-speaking destinations, Callzilla notes that 90% of services delivered from South Africa are related to customer experience (CX) and contact centre services.

The investment in East London has created happy customers in the US, according to Callzilla, and happy employees (pictured below).

The GBS Incentive Scheme of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) provides investment-funding support for financially viable propositions that create youth employment opportunities. There are three tiers of support available, depending on the size of the investment and how many jobs and opportunities for local SMMEs are created.

For a R50-million project over three years, a maximum sum of R400 000 is available while a contract between R201-million and R500-million might attract up to R1.2-million in support.

South Africa’s GBS sector, previously known as BPO, is growing twice as fast as the world’s and three times faster than India and the Philippines.

The Eastern Cape GBS sector

The Eastern Cape has four universities and eight TVET colleges, high-speed connectivity and an attractive lifestyle.

Other factors in favour of the area are the relatively neutral accents, good financial and telecommunications infrastructure and the time zone being the same or close to Europe’s.

The East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) has an ICT strategy that intends creating an ICT Hub which will include a dedicated GBS facility, a scalable data centre and a 1 000-seat-business continuity and ICT training facility. The ELIDZ currently operates two data centres with ISO27001 accreditation and has obtained approval for the concept development of an 800-seater GBS Park in conjunction with an interested party.

As of May 2023, a total of 1 529 jobs had been created in the Coega Business Process Outsourcing Park of the Coega SEZ. Discovery Health and Startek are the tenants of the park, with almost all of the employees being classified as permanent and 70% as youth.

The Coega BPO Park offers a customised space at competitive rates in addition to an uninterrupted power supply, in-house recruitment, training, a variety of incentives and the convenience of being accessible to all main transportation nodes.

A Future Skills Platform programme passed on digital skills to 959 people early in 2023, courtesy of the Eastern Cape branch of Business Processing enabling South Africa (BPESA), Evolution, Coega SEZ and Volkswagen SA. The programme has been running since October 2022 under the auspices of the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).

Read more about the GBS sector in the Eastern Cape

Contact ECDC

To discuss your business objectives for the GBS sector in the Eastern Cape, contact ECDC:


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