Business process outsourcing (BPO) provider CCI South Africa yesterday opened its new contact centre in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest township.
Located at Umlazi Mega City, the branch marks CCI South Africa’s first contact centre in a township community, according to a statement.
The new facility aims to make it easier for its employees to get to work and for people from previously disadvantaged communities to take advantage of the employment opportunities offered by the BPO industry locally, it adds.
While 20% of its staff hail from Umlazi, the firm notes the high costs of commuting to Durban’s commercial centre – Mhlanga – means residents of the township are under-represented in the BPO industry.
Says CCI South Africa MD Peter Andrew: “We realised that many of our valued employees have a long and costly commute to work in our current offices in Umhlanga, so we started really thinking about how we could ease their burden and facilitate access to employment.
“The obvious solution was to open a contact centre in Umlazi. When the lease for our downtown Durban office ended, it made perfect sense to make a commitment to our employees with a contact centre much closer to their homes, in Umlazi.”
As SA grapples with high unemployment, more graduates are turning to the BPO sector – commonly referred to as the call centre industry − for employment opportunities.
The new contact centre signals CCI South Africa’s plans to grow its presence in Umlazi. It also intends to open a new centre for its impact sourcing partner, CareerBox Africa, in early 2024.
CCI South Africa works with CareerBox on skills development for the BPO sector.
Established in 2013, CareerBox offers young people from previously disadvantaged communities the opportunity to enter employment in CCI’s contact centres after completing a two-week work readiness programme facilitated by CareerBox.
“We have seen incredible demand for training at the CareerBox offices in Umhlanga, and we are delighted that we will be able to offer many more of the motivated and talented young people and women from Umlazi access to the BPO industry through our work-readiness programmes,” says Lizelle Strydom, MD of CareerBox Africa.
The BPO industry, supported by government, has ambitious goals to grow job creation by up to 500 000 cumulative new jobs by 2030.
CCI South Africa reveals it plans to grow its workforce by up to 20 000 positions, from the 8 000 people it currently employs.
“With over 8 000 people working across eight sites in three cities, we are only able to achieve what we do because every individual plays their part in the bigger team effort. I am extremely optimistic about the positive impact our Umlazi contact centre will have for our employees and for the ongoing growth of CCI South Africa and the BPO sector as a whole,” concludes Andrew.