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Global companies are vying for South Africa’s untapped talent

Global companies claim South Africa has untapped potential when it comes to its workforce. Photo: Pixabay

Global companies claim South Africa has untapped potential when it comes to its workforce. Photo: Pixabay

Published Aug 1, 2022


Durban - International companies have been setting up shop in the country in the past few years in the pursuit of South Africa’s talented workers.

As part of their global expansion, companies like Amazon and Panasonic are increasingly choosing to locate their headquarters here.

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CostCertified, a Canadian business that only recently established an office in Cape Town, is among these companies.

Mike Bignold, the founder and chief executive of this start-up, said South Africa offers a high-calibre, untapped talent pool for international businesses.

“Between unemployed graduates and people who don’t have any formal qualifications, they have all the relevant soft skills and potential, it’s not difficult to build a strong and successful local team,” said Bignold.

The residential construction estimating software company aims to create more than 300 jobs for locals in the next two years.

Weeks before any members of its staff arrived in the nation, CostCertified bought offices and started the local employment process.

The entire process was virtual, including location scouting and performing Zoom interviews, which presented both opportunities and difficulties.

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“We found that some of our candidates were apprehensive about the speed at which they received offers. We are a hyper-growth company, and once we decide someone is a good fit, we fast-track the employment process to get them started,” said Bignold.

E-commerce company Amazon has not had the same journey in South Africa. In 2021, Cape Town permitted the Jeff Bezos-led business to build its R14 billion African headquarters.

However, the development has been met with heavy criticism from the San and Khoi people who say the American multinational conglomerate wants to build on a river that is a sacred site for the native people.

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“We will reclaim the river as a protected life-giving entity that can’t be buried to make way for 150 000 square metres of concrete,” said the Liesbeek Action Campaign.

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