STATE BID TO ATTRACT CALL CENTRES TO SOUTH AFRICA FALLS FLAT

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

A Government scheme to lure international call centre operators to SA has not elicited a single application, it emerged last week, dashing high hopes that up to 100,000 new jobs would be created and investment deals worth 175m sealed if the initiative was successful.

The call centre scheme, one of several trade and industry department ventures aimed at stimulating investment and creating jobs, was launched in March. It emerged at a meeting last week of the Incentive Consultants Association that the sector strategy for business process outsourcing and offshoring may now have to be tweaked, with the department conceding it may have set the bar too high.

Francisca Strauss, director of incentive administration with the department's Enterprise Organisation, conceded the investment criteria for the incentive scheme were probably too stringent.

Business Day