28 March 2007
South Africa is to build a R125-million, 1 500-seat call centre incorporating office, training and recreational space to boost the global competitiveness of the Coega Industrial Development Zone outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.
Coega Development Corporation spokesperson Vuyelwa Qinga-Vika said the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Park, covering five hectares and including training facilities, lounges, a cafeteria and a restaurant, would be the first of its kind in South Africa.
“The building will be built in segments, with the first 500 seats being available towards the second quarter of 2008, where the remaining 1 000 seats will be available towards the end of 2008,” Qinga-Vika said.
The BPO Park will be situated in Coega’s business service precinct, next to workers’ residential areas, and will replace a 200-seater call centre currently in operation.
Business process outsourcing has been identified as a priority sector under the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi-SA).
“The multiple-tenants building brings with it direct job opportunities of up to 1 800 call centre agents after completion and hundreds of jobs during construction phase,” Qinga-Vika said.
Coega property development manager Waseem Mustapha said the building could accommodate numerous different investors. Coega, he said, would be responsible for the overall management of the building, that is designed to cater for various scenarios.
He said Coega was in discussion with several potential foreign investors, and that construction on the BPO Park was expected to start in May.