The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) launched the Global Business Services (GBS) incentive effective from 1 January 2019, replacing the BPS which ran from 2011 to 2014, stimulating the offshoring “call centre” sector in South Africa.

The incentive reduces the operating cost of call centres and has led to South Africa being awarded a number of accolades in the sector.

Furthermore, it has created 23 804 jobs in 6 years and attracted international companies to operate in South Africa.

The new incentive – GBS – looks to expand South Africa’s offering in the value chain to include more “complex” outsourcing opportunities including;

  • Finance and accounting services (portfolio analysis and management, asset management, financial reporting, treasury and financial management);
  • Human resource outsourcing (including education, training and development);
  • Contact centres (including we sales & marketing, advertising-creative processes);
  • Back office processes (including translation and transcription);
  • IT and technical services (web-site design and development); and
  • Other (analytics, engineering and design, infrastructure management, logistics and fulfilment, procurement, transportation services, travel and tourism booking and reservations, insurance industry functions)

The primary requirements are:

  1. An applicant must have a 3 year contract from a credible foreign client(s) to export services to;
  2. Commit to creating 30 to 50 jobs over 5 years;
  3. Be a viable (bankable) business operation; and
  4. Be BEE compliant (Level 8).

Whilst South Africa is traditionally a business processing destination for low skill and non-complex services, the intention of the revised incentive is to move us into a new market.

This incentive further creates immense opportunity for the local services sector, which is generally seen as a low priority sector for support and incentives due to the generalisation that it is as a low “complex” job creating sector. The GBS Incentive opens new possibilities for well-structured, highly professional service businesses to grow their international footprint while operating from South Africa.