Industrial Strategy, Offshoring, and Employment Promotion in South Africa

by ALTMAN,M., 2012
Bardhan, Ashok, Dwight Jaffee and Cynthia Kroll, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Offshoring and Global Employment, Oxford University Press. Chpt 24 pp 620- 646

South Africa has an extremely high rate of unemployment, but also substantial capacity in the service industries. Business process outsourcing and offshoring (BPO&O) is a rapidly expanding global opportunity through which the country might generate many jobs in traded activities. It is essentially a new activity, enabled by the diffusion of broadband and Internet services in the 2000s. To date, India and the Philippines are the only developing countries to have positioned themselves effectively to generate significant employment. Altman reviews the country’s global positioning for BPO&O industrial expansion. She discusses the global context, as well as the success of India and the Philippines, the current market leaders. She then considers South Africa’s experience as an emergent entrant to BPO&O, and assesses its attempts to gain a greater share of this market.