South Africa, like India, is a former British colony with the English language spoken throughout.
Like India it has a lower cost of living than the UK and lower wages. I met a group from South Africa last week. They were in the UK to promote what South Africa has to offer UK businesses in terms of voice based customer service offshoring.
They told me it costs 50% to 60% less to set up a call centre in South Africa compared to the UK. If you take some of the South African government grants another 10% to 15% can be shaved off.
Today the South African government has announced it is increasing these incentives.
These investment funds can be spent however the customer wants
South Africa is focussed in the UK for obvious reasons. The language and cultural similarities make it an ideal place for voice customer services.
Asda, British Gas and Virgin Media already use call centres in South Africa.
South Africa currently has 10,000 call centre seats supporting offshore customers, but wants to increase this to 30,000.
One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the completion of broadband links to Europe, such as the Seacom pipe.
Telco costs used to be a major proportion of overall costs when offshoring to South Africa. But telco costs have apparently fallen 85% since 2003.