BPO sector an example of goodwill and resilience during Covid-19 | Western Cape Government

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BPO sector an example of goodwill and resilience during Covid-19

29 April 2020

We’d like to thank the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector for their support during the Covid-19 crisis following their quick response to our request for assistance after the Western Cape Government’s call centre was overwhelmed with calls from the public looking for assistance at the start of the nation-wide lockdown.

We approached the not-for-profit BPO industry association, Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPESA) Western Cape, for help when our call centres started receiving an unprecedented number of calls following the commencement of the Covid-19 lockdown, increasing to almost 14,000 calls per day from previously only receiving around a few hundred calls per day. 

BPESA responded immediately by putting out an appeal to call centre service providers in the Western Cape to assist with technical solutions and agent capacity, and the industry quickly mobilised in support. 

Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, expressed appreciation for the assistance received: “We would like to convey our thanks to Renee Keeble from SA Commercial, Alan Graham from Mindpearl and to Gareth Pritchard and Clayton Williams from BPESA Western Cape, who assisted us in this challenging time and helped us provide support to those living in the Western Cape as best as we possibly could in the circumstances. Theirs is a sincere demonstration of lived corporate values, and no doubt their contribution will be to the benefit of many.”

BPESA CEO, Gareth Pritchard said: “This public and private sector partnership represents a significant milestone for the Western Cape as we can utilise world-class BPO delivery capability from our operator community to support the phenomenal work that our government departments and employees are doing,  I am humbled by the degree of corporate citizenship that is being displayed by our operators during this time of crisis and uncertainty, and am confident that together we can assist those who are in need, be it small or dire.”

On Tuesday (28 April 2020), Minister Maynier and officials from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism visited Webhelp, a large international operator based in Cape Town. They were taken on a tour of the operation by Brandon Aitken, Webhelp’s Chief Commercial Officer to see first-hand how the business has adapted during the lockdown.

As an essential service operating at only 30% capacity, the organisation has implemented strict measures to ensure the health and safety of all their employees. Some of these adaptive measures include social distancing, the wearing of masks at all times, only allowing two people in an elevator and work-from-home solutions which were all put in place in a very short space of time to ensure business continuity.

At the end of the visit to Webhelp’s operations, Minister Maynier, commended the organisation: “It is impressive to see how Webhelp has very quickly adapted to ensure that health and safety measures are put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, while still being able to offer a world-class service to their clients. For all of us, it remains our main priority to stop the spread of Covid-19, but every day we are hearing about the many businesses who are innovating and adapting so that they are safely able to continue providing jobs and contributing to our economy during the nation-wide lockdown. Together we will do everything we can to support them.”

Media Enquiries: 

Francine Higham
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 4327
Cell: 071 087 5150
Email: francine.higham@westerncape.gov.za