Cheap Party Favors Make Great Gifts

Having a beach bash, birthday party, retirement party, bridal shower, graduation, wedding or some other event? Don’t forget to thank your guests for celebrating the occasion with you. What better way to say thank you than to choose inexpensive party favors for your guests to take with them when they leave the party. Many people, when they think of party favors, think of sitting around the kitchen table stuffing party bags. How boring is that? Usually, the same old candy, mints or confetti end up in the favor bag and the people receiving them really don’t care if they get one or not. Make your party extra special by giving your guests a party favor they will really want to receive. Party favors these days are very nice and many are less than $2 or even less than $1 each. Choosing a party favor that matches the party theme is the easiest way to go. For a summer beach bash or 4th of July party, choose party favors that shout SUMMER. Inexpensive beach theme party favors are perfect for this type of event and include flip flop magnets and margarita gel candles. Many people do not expect party favors at summer picnics so be sure to surprise them with a nice memento to remind them of this fun day! For a fall event such as a wedding, retirement party, birthday party, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Quince or more, choose a party favor that incorporates all the beautiful colors of the season such as chocolate brown, burgundy and gold. These colors are available with so many inexpensive fall party favors such as bookmarks, favor boxes, and photo frames. Many favors are not only lovely, but practical too and also would be nice used as place card holders at the Thanksgiving table. Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve are just a few of our favorite winter reasons to have a party. Match your party favor to this fun time of year by selecting snowman candles, snowflake ornaments or a beautiful blue gel candle with a snowflake on it. These are great inexpensive favors for winter birthday parties too. And did we mention winter weddings? Some of the most gorgeous weddings are held during the winter months creating a winter wonderland for the bride and groom. Any snowflake party favor would be the perfect party favor for this type of event. All things begin anew in spring. For events such as Bridal Showers, Weddings, First Communions, Baptisms and other spring happenings, select wildflower seed favors, floral party favors or butterfly favors or ladybug favors to give your guests at this time of year. These favors are also great all year round for a birthday party, Sweet 16 party, Quince party and more. All of the party favors mentioned above cost less than $2 each and many less than $1 each. How can you afford not to thank your guests with these inexpensive party favors? To be double sure your guests love your party favor, choose one that you yourself would like to receive!

4 Things You Miss Out on When You Search Only For a Cheap Party Bus in Boston

You’re looking for a party bus in Boston. One of the first things you might look for, or type into a search engine like Google, is ‘Cheap Party Bus Boston.’ That Seems like a Reasonable Thing: After all, you don’t want to have to overpay for this service. You might not have had any prior experience when it comes to Boston Party Limos Buses, booking a limo, or even renting a series of coach buses for a large group. If you don’t have prior experience, you may have heard that party buses are just too expensive and you should be looking for the cheapest possible once you can find. Here are four things you actually might miss out on when you begin searching only for a Cheap Party Bus in Boston. 1. Quality: You may be surprised that an old, converted school bus is what shows up to pick you all up. You might be upset initially, but you didn’t read the fine print. Sure, the pictures they had on their website might have shown a luxurious party bus, but the fine print, the disclaimer, may have indicated actual party bus may not look as represented. When you search for a Party Buses in Boston, you will probably be directed to the newest, smallest companies that are just trying to make a name for themselves. That’s not going to work for you. 2. On-Time Service: The newer, smaller, and inexperienced a company is, the more likely they will run into problems that can cause them to show up late, have trouble getting you to your destination on time, and that can negatively affect the entire trip. If you’re heading to a sporting event or concert, for example, and you show up half an hour late, that’s a lot of missed enjoyment and opportunities. 3. Knowledgeable Drivers: Cheap Boston Party Bus Rentals often have the least experienced or knowledgeable drivers in their employ. They might not be able to offer a great sightseeing adventures, insight into the area, or be able to answer questions you or your guests may have. 4. An Incredible Experience: When you book a Cheap Party Bus in Boston, solely for the goal of saving as much money as possible, you’ll miss out on an incredible experience. That doesn’t mean you have to overpay, but you should invest properly if you want right VIP experience. Don’t undervalue a company just because they may charge a little bit more than the cheapest possible rates out there. When it comes to Boston Party Bus Rentals, you truly do get what you pay for, and then some. You’re looking for a party bus in Boston. One of the first things you might look for, or type into a search engine like Google, is ‘Cheap Party Bus Boston.’ That Seems like a Reasonable Thing: After all, you don’t want to have to overpay for this service. You might not have had any prior experience when it comes to Boston Party Limos Buses, booking a limo, or even renting a series of coach buses for a large group. If you don’t have prior experience, you may have heard that party buses are just too expensive and you should be looking for the cheapest possible once you can find.

Cheap and Easy Holiday Party Entertaining – Throw a Great Party Without Spending a Fortune

If you are planning a holiday party, you already know that food can be one of your biggest expenses. However, you can plan the perfect party and still cut food costs. You don’t even need to consider serving expensive appetizers and beverages to throw a great party this holiday season. A little imagination, creativity, and effort can make your festivities a truly memorable occasion. Here are some of the ways I’ve learned to save on the cost of party food over the holiday season without sacrificing fun or quality: Snacking Is Classic – Sticking with classic holiday season snacks may be the perfect thing for your party. Traditional foods at casual holiday gatherings include fresh vegetable trays with an assortment of creamy dips, as well as trays of cheese and sausage. Don’t buy pre-made veggie trays. Instead, buy vegetables in bulk and wash and cut them up yourself. They’ll be less expensive and better quality when they’re fresh cut by you. Buy cheese and sausage the same way. The little extra time you spend cutting up your own snacks will be worth it both in money and in what your snacks look like, and taste like. Buy nuts in bulk and put in pretty and festive little dishes around the room. If you can afford an assortment of olives, that’s a nice touch next to the sausage and cheese trays. Frugal Thirst Quenchers – Most every holiday party would benefit from serving an inexpensive but pretty punch. A punch bowl is very festive and it goes a long, long way. Use frozen juice concentrates in any combination you like, throw in some bubbly soda pop, some ice, and you’ve got yourself a great centerpiece. You should also have an assortment of soft drinks in big bottles as well as fresh water in pitchers. For a casual holiday gathering, your guests can help themselves as long as you have cups and ice available. If you have someone serving your guests, just keep filling their cups and you’ll be hailed as a great host! Finger Foods For Mingling – If your holiday party guests will be moving about, finger foods are a great way to go. You can create very inexpensive but filling finger foods with very little effort. Start with the classic vegetable tray and dip. Get a good variety of vegetables and make your own dip in order to save money and show you care about your special guests. Wash and cut your own vegetables to ensure quality and to save money. Some simple, small sandwiches are always welcome. Keep in mind that people will be walking around, so no sandwiches that involve two hands and a bib! You can buy big bags of frozen boneless chicken wings that are already seasoned and are relatively inexpensive. Those look great on a bed of kale or romaine lettuce with wedges of lemon alongside. Just stock up on festive napkins and paper plates and your mingling party is set to go! Culturally Inspired – What if your holiday party has to be a sit-down dinner? Every culture has some kind of dish that is designed to feed a large gathering inexpensively. An Italian inspired meal could include a couple spaghetti dishes, perhaps a tomato sauce and an olive oil and garlic sauce. Be sure to include lots of crusty bread and a fresh antipasto platter on your holiday table. An Asian inspired dish may include a stir-fry of fresh vegetables with ginger and cashews or almonds for crunch. Serve over sticky rice to complete the meal. If you like Mexican food, try some big plates of Nachos, Chilies Rellenos, or Share A Potluck – If you thought potlucks were just for church gatherings, think again. This holiday party planning option is catching on big time. This holiday party is usually a casual gathering of folks who know each other pretty well, and if not, you’ll get to know each other better. The host of the party needs to provide a main dish, but everyone else, in order for it to be a true potluck, brings whatever they want. Now, if someone asks you what you should bring, you can use the opportunity to request a specific dish, but I like the surprise, myself. Ask everyone to bring a copy of their special holiday recipe, unless it’s a well guarded family secret recipe, of course! Enchiladas. Have lots of chips and salsa to round out the meal. Give some thought to your own background. Maybe some Red Beans and Rice and Blackened Catfish is where you’re coming from! Have some fun with it and your holiday guests will, too! Traveling Party – These holiday parties work particularly well when several people within the same circle of friends is celebrating the same holiday season. If you have three families in the same neighborhood, each family takes a portion of the party and hosts it at their house. One family starts out with hors d’oeuvres and beverages, the second family with the main dish, and the third family with desserts and coffee. You want to get together on the menu so that the three families are on the same page when it comes to the atmosphere of the party. The food should be casual as people will be coming and going. This kind of holiday party is never a sit-down dinner and should always be served buffet style. Try to plan a specific block of time for each “course”, knowing that you’ll need to be a bit flexible to allow for the flow of people-traffic through each house. Dessert Time – If your holiday party is later in the evening, or if your guests are the type who like to eat dessert first, this plan is for you. Some inexpensive angel food cake can be all gussied up to look like, and taste like, an expensive gourmet shop dessert quickly and easily. Melt some chocolate, even cheap candy bars will do, and stir in some cream and a pad of butter. When it’s nice and thin, pour it over slices of cake on dessert plates. Garnish with some fresh mint leaves or sprinkles of fresh edible lavender. Try drizzling some thin powdered sugar frosting, flavored with any citrus extract you like, over the slices of cake, then topping with some fresh carnations or even lilacs. The petals are edible and pretty! Or just grate some orange or lime zest over the frosting to give it a bit of flare. Do this in front of your holiday guests to really make their mouths water and come off looking like a real chef! If you can’t afford expensive catering for your holiday party, you need to get creative with your menu and your plan. It’s really not that hard to come up with frugal and fun ways to save big money on your holiday party budget. Give it a try!

Cheap Party Bus Rentals

Whether it is your stag party, birthday bash or your feel-good-Friday-night party, cheap party bus rentals are always one of the best ways to celebrate. With the entertainment becoming more and more unique, people are constantly looking for party bus rentals as they are more convenient means to accommodate the guests. Whether it is your stag party, birthday bash or your feel-good-Friday-night party, cheap party bus rentals are always one of the best ways to celebrate. With the entertainment becoming more and more unique, people are constantly looking for party bus rentals as they are more convenient means to accommodate the guests. You rent party buses from a party bus service company like when you rent limousines from a limo company. Party buses are now in demand as more people can fit in it and are able to move with ease when inside the bus. Cheap party bus rental’s have been found to be most popular with those who celebrate bachelor or bachelorette parties, as these party buses can fetch people from their homes and bring them to the venue place conveniently. They can enjoy the party even while within the bus, and the guests do not have to worry as to who would give them a ride when they go home. Party organizers do not have to fret as to how their guests would get home (despite being wasted after a presumably, night filled with alcohol) and to who would take the driver’s seat. In this manner, dangerous drunk driving can be avoided. Party buses are more of like a precursor to the actual party, and they are a more practical means to let your guests enjoy and feel relaxed instead of renting out a hotel for your guests. In short, party buses limit the risk of drunk driving for your guests and also serve to entertain your guests even before the official party starts. Cheap party bus rentals can almost be found in all states; although some states have fewer buses hence they are available at a higher price. The rates of the buses shall depend on how many passengers you plan to bring with you. There are many amenities that you can avail of though it usually depends on your party bus company. Some of the add-ons that you can avail of include a complete bar and drinks, poles for dancers, CD/DVD players, glaring neon lights and many more. The more add-ons you avail of, the more expensive the price gets. Cheap party bus rentals’ rates also depend on the season of the party. Peak seasons like Christmas and graduation time periods often have a higher price. Party bus companies ensure the safety of their passengers at all costs. So before you plan to rent one, be sure to check their driver’s license, as some states require different types of drivers licenses, depending on the weight of the bus. Do check your chosen party bus company whether they have insured their vehicles, to ensure maximum safety of you and your guests. Cheap party bus rentals are available in most countries, just look up the nearest party bus company near you on the internet. You can also opt to check your telephone directory to personally inquire for the service offered. The less add-ons and passenger capacity you avail of, the cheaper the price of these party bus rentals get. So maximize your resources and get the best deal for your well deserved party.

Cheap And Easy Party Food – Throw A Great Party Without Spending A Fortune

If you are planning a party, you already know that food can be one of your biggest expenses. However, you can take several steps to cut your party food costs. It is not necessary to purchase expensive appetizers and beverages to throw a great party. A little imagination and effort can make your party a memorable occasion. Here are some ideas and suggestions to help you save money on food when throwing your next party: Have a potluck A potluck is certainly cheaper than hiring a caterer and you will save a lot of time and money by having your guests prepare a dish to share with others. Potluck is fun and you will surely end up with an interesting assortment of foods. To make things simpler, include a suggestion as to what type of dish you would like your guests to bring such as a dessert, vegetable, or salad. Finger foods are fun Small sandwiches, chips, dips, and vegetable trays are relatively inexpensive and you won’t need to bother with place settings and bringing out your best china. Simply supply napkins and small paper plates and allow your guests to serve themselves from an assortment of bite size goodies. Back to basics Fruit and cheese are excellent choices for casual party foods that don’t require fancy place settings or dishes. Buy fresh fruit in season when you are likely to find certain varieties on sale and fill your table will a variety of cheeses, crackers, and perhaps olives and nuts. Go Italian If your party will be a dinner party where fingers foods are not appropriate, you can try spaghetti with garlic bread and salad, or you could find a good deal on pizza that you can have delivered. You will save time and it is quite easy to find a bargain on different types of pizza. Thrifty Thirst Quenchers For party beverages, two-liter soft drinks and bottled water are inexpensive and very easy to serve. Provide ice and cups and allow your guests to serve themselves. Tea and coffee are cheap as is lemonade that you make fresh or from concentrate. Your party does not have to cost a lot of money to be a huge success. Look for sales on the foods and beverages you choose and plan ahead so you will have time to shop around be fore you buy.

Pink Limousines In The Uk

There are some amazing pink limousines available for rental in the UK in many different styles and types. Limo hire London has a fantastic selection with limos ranging from huge pink Hummer H2 limos and a unique 6 wheeler pink Lincoln Navigator limo to pink stretch Lincoln Town Cars and a pink Chrysler PT Cruiser limo. The pink limousines available have different capacities so will cater for party sizes ranging from 8 all the way up to 20 people. This is great for hen nights where numbers of people can be large or small. All the pink limos are kitted out with plasma screens, CD players, and DVD players and most have a fully pink interior.

Elsewhere in the UK the pink limousines are just as stunning. In Bristol there is a superb brand new pink Hummer H2 limousine with disco lights and a fully pink interior and a super stretch 12 seater pink Lincoln Town Car. Birmingham has a great selection of pink Jeep Excursion limos kitted out with chrome alloys and gorgeous interiors as well as a unique Pink Panther Party Bus with smoke machines, bubbly machines, 10,000 track touch screen music systems, plasma TV’s and much more. Other towns and cities in the Midlands such as Nottingham have stunning pink limousines and pink Hummer limos. Yorkshire and in particular Sheffield has one of the finest pink stretch Lincoln Town Cars in the UK with a gorgeous interior and fully stocked bar as well as a pink Panther Jeep Excursion limousine. The pink limos in Newcastle and the North East have a Playboy theme with Playboy Bunnies on the side of the limousine, Playboy cushions and other Playboy paraphernalia inside the limo as well as a superb pink Fire Engine limousine. Scotland’s cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen have a fine selection of pink limos including pink Hummer H2 limos, pink Hummer H3 limousines and stretch pink Lincoln Town Cars all kitted out with karaoke, bubbly, CD players, DVD players and quality sound systems.

The North West and in particular Manchester has arguably the best Pink Hummer H2 limousine in the whole of the UK with fully pink interior, karaoke, Playboy mirrored ceiling and disco floor. In addition Manchester has the only pink Chrysler C300 Baby Bentley limo in the UK, an amazing limousine that has proved very popular. There are plenty of quality pink stretch Lincoln Town Cars in both Manchester and Liverpool in many different shades of pink from light to dark as well as pink Lincoln Navigator limousines.

Most limousine types have a pink version and this is true of Hummer H2 limousines, Hummer H3 limos, Lincoln Navigator limos, Jeep Excursion limousines, fire engine limos and the Chrysler C300 Baby Bentley limousine. It remains to be seen if the latest stretch limos such as the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Range Rover limousines offer the ladies a pink version but with the success of the other pink limos it is probably only a matter of time.

Party Bus Transport Offer The Best Solutions For Guests

So you are in charge of organizing and planning your senior class night out for senior prom night this year! Where do you start, what do you need to do first?

You want everyone to arrive to the prom and back home again safely, as well as on time. You know any late arrivals won’t be allowed in the prom this year, so it’s going to be a stretch getting all 75 of you to the facility on time.

There is a perfect solution! Call a party bus company for your transportation needs!

They will pick up each senior from their home or a designated area and transport them directly to the prom site, or if you want to drop by the school for a few group pictures, they will do that as well. Their uniformed professional and experienced chauffeurs are at your disposal from the minute you step on the bus.

You can travel in ‘high’ style with a double-decker bus which is great fun for large groups who want to travel at the same time. Or if you just want to transport small groups of your best friends and their dates, you can hire smaller luxury buses for as few as 20 and up to 50 guests.

Maybe you are the person in charge of organizing a night out for your company’s sales people who are coming into town for a week of meetings and reviews. You are remembering a similar time last year when they all had turned up with their own rental cars and it was a nightmare trying to get everyone in one place, at the same time?

Not to mention the parking nightmare for 30 cars!

Hiring a party bus that takes up to 35 people with room to spare will solve all your problems. These amazing luxury machines are a club on wheels and with two separate lounges and an incredible sound system your guests will have an experience that makes them forget the boring week of meetings and reviews!

Party buses are a fantastic choice for a group of friends who want to go to dinner and then a club afterwards and celebrate the night together. Get the party bus to collect your passengers and transport the group from the restaurant and then off to the club.

When the night is done, your friends are safely delivered back to their point of departure or wherever you decide from there on!

This is one amazing fun way to transport guests for any celebration.

If you are planning a hens or stags’ night pre wedding you can certainly have a night to remember!

Wedding parties are very popular with this form of transport and the bridal party can be transported in very sleek, luxurious limousines for the big day!

Once you have experienced the comfort and fun of hiring a party bus it will definitely be your preferred way to travel when you have guests to transport.

Party buses are fun from the minute you step on board, you know you are safe, there is a DJ on board to get the party rolling and the only thing you need to think about is having the best time ever.

The team at Party Bus are a tight knit crew who are very experienced and dedicated to their work and the tremendous value they add in providing events on wheels for their clients.

Whether you are looking to hire a venue for any sort of function from a Christmas party, corporate event, a company launch, family reunions, hens’ or stags’ nights, or a visit to a local vineyard Markovina Vineyard Estate is hard to beat. The magic is in the planning and the detail and this group of talented people know what it takes to make it happen.

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Party Bus: A Brief Introduction

If you have ever heard anyone talk about party buses and possibly renting one but you are not sure what all of the hype is about then sit back, relax and keep reading and you will learn what it is about. In the next few paragraphs, you will discover what a party bus is and why this option for transportation is becoming so popular.

What is a Party Bus Anyway?

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this concept, it is typically a normal bus. This might be a charter bus or even a school bus that has been redesigned. The seats may have all been ripped out and the bus converted into something like a massive limo. Some of these buses absolutely must be seen because a description will do them no justice. They can contain all varieties of amazing amenities and features.

Here is a quick peek at some of the awesome things that you might see on a party bus:

Fridges and even mini bars so that you have someplace where you can keep all of your drinks cold and even mix up your preferred cocktails.
Satellite TV, DVD players and TVs so that you can have visual entertainment no matter where you might be.
Lighting systems that are crazy enough to make you think that you are in a club. Everything from fiber optic lights to disco lights, laser lights and even strobe lights might be found on some party buses.
Custom sound systems that have CD players, iPod or MP3 connectivity with massive wattage and massive volume
Stripper poles and dance floors for those who like to get a bit crazy with the music
Restrooms so that you never even need to make pit stops when you are in the party zone

As it is made obvious by some of the items that are listed above, a party bus can and generally is equipped with a great number of amenities that have been designed specifically to make sure that you get a ride that is both entertaining and comfortable. In fact, the features that you see above are just a small sample of what you can expect to find on many party buses no matter where you are. In some places you can even hire a party bus that comes complete with an arcade, hot tubs or even live bands!

A party bus service is sort of like a limo service which is just an additional reason that this is such an amazing travel option. In many states it is even legal to drink alcohol when you are on board. Additionally, you will never need to worry about having to find a designated driver or calling for a cab to take you home.

When all is said and done, a party bus offers you a unique method of travel for groups of people that is coupled with an experience that is a once in a lifetime kind of thing.

Kathryn McDowell loves to travel. She recommends looking into hiring a party bus for your next celebration. You can then party and have fun and not worry about designated drivers and everyone can enjoy the party.

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Fighting the insider threat

In the past, security efforts were largely focused on preventing cyber criminals from gaining access to the company network. Today, although this threat continues to be a real danger, there has been a growing focus on the threats posed by insiders. Company employees that have access to critical information and either maliciously or carelessly leak that data.
Businesses rely more and more on automated systems, and small USB drives, and these have paved the way for malicious insiders to inflict huge damage, and exfiltrate company data without anyone being the wiser.

It can happen to anyone

Moreover, insider attacks can be at least as devastating as external threats, and they can happen to anyone. These threats usually fall into one of the three categories: sabotage, theft of intellectual property or other sensitive data, and fraud.

These threats are particularly prevalent during tough economic times, during which organisations are forced to make cutbacks and retrench staff. This leads to a rise in the number of people who would consider stealing valuable data, and therefore a rise in malicious insider activity.

So what should IT be doing to prevent this sort of threat? The first step is knowing what your businesses’ most valuable data is, the data that would damage the company the most should it be stolen – think along the lines of the recipe for KFC’s eleven herbs and spices – and make sure security is focussed on that data.

Also, learn from any past attacks, as these will have shown where you are vulnerable, and what you were doing wrong. Understanding the weak points in your organisation will help the technical team put controls in place to watch for similar attacks in the future.

It is also important to understand who has access to your sensitive information. Remember, this list will include third-party business partners as well as internal employees. Make sure that only trusted parties have access, and that no-one has access to anything they don’t strictly need to do their jobs. Always enforce the principle of least privilege.

Eyes open

Next, keep an eye out for any anomalous or suspicious behaviour. The signs are numerous, and will include working unusual hours for no reason, unnecessarily copying data they don’t need, disregarding company policies about installing unauthorised software or applications, and trying to access restricted areas on the company network.

Be particularly vigilant when it comes to staff who have resigned or are about to be terminated. Research suggests there is a window during which most insider attacks take place, and that is within 30 days of handing in a resignation, on either side.

Another way to stop the insider threat is to have data leakage prevention (DLP) and other technologies that focus on preventing the leakage, accidental or deliberate of company data. An example of this would be centralised logging tools that are designed to look for any signs that data is being exfiltrated, or emails sent outside the organisation that are of an abnormal file size.

Perhaps the most vital measure businesses can introduce is to have a programme in place to deal with the threat. Get senior managers involved, put best-practices and plans in place to deal with and mitigate these threats. Technology on its own cannot hope to block all these attacks. A combination of proper policies and procedures with awareness and having an action plan already in place, allows companies to quickly prevent or these attacks.

ANC political crisis spells uncertainty for South African BPO sector

Recent political instability in South Africa, culminating in the removal of South African President, Thabo Mbeki, and the resignation of several of his cabinet colleagues, may discourage offshore business process outsourcing (BPO) investors. However…
Leading UK-based independent market analyst Datamonitor cautions against sudden BPO divestment from South Africa, due to its strong value proposition.

The recent firing of President Thabo Mbeki by South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has precipitated one of the most tumultuous periods in the country’s political and economic history since the fall of the Apartheid regime 14 years ago. These events could also BPO firms providing services to offshore clients to reconsider existing and future investments in delivery from South Africa.

Since landing on the BPO map, there is little doubt that South Africa has proven itself to be one of the most attractive locations for providing a multitude of third-party business support services. Notwithstanding legacy problems, including a high incidence of HIV/Aids among the overall population and the challenge of developing comprehensive education and infrastructure programs, offshore BPO investors have enthusiastically invested in South Africa due to what they see as a level of commercial sophistication and economic stability virtually unparalleled anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa.

Successive post-Apartheid governments have focused on maintaining a good business climate, which has led a number of global contact center and back-office firms to invest across the country with the intention of providing support to end-users overseas.

Caution called for

However, it is clear that many of these same firms may begin to question their current deployments in South Africa, based on recent events. For one, while it was anticipated that Mbeki would be replaced as president in 2009, business confidence among overseas investors is unlikely to be strengthened by what amounts to a bloodless coup by ANC members backing designated presidential candidate Jacob Zuma. Zuma is seen by many in the business community as excessively left-wing compared to the centrist Mbeki. Furthermore, many have questioned how transparent his administration would be, given his various legal issues.

The economic chaos in South Africa’s financial markets on September 23 serves as an example of recent political manoeuvrings, and will not have gone unnoticed by overseas BPO investors. Not only did the rand lose nearly 3% relative to the US dollar following the announcement of the resignation of several cabinet ministers, but Johannesburg’s Top-40 stock index also slumped downward.

Despite the announcement of an interim President, Kgalema Motlanthe, who has been called a ‘safe pair of hands’ by some, it will take considerable efforts on the part of the new administration to reassure investors who may be worrying about long-term delivery prospects from South Africa.

However, Datamonitor believes that current and prospective BPO investors should tread with a degree of caution over the coming months. While recent events have highlighted potential internal political schisms within the ANC, South Africa still remains a viable location for many offshore functions.

Its labour pool is substantial, and it remains a low-cost location relative to Western Europe, North America and Australia/New Zealand. There is no doubt that, until the 2009 elections, the potential for instability exists. However, equally, the large-scale benefits of the BPO sector have not been lost on opinion leaders and government officials in South Africa, few of whom are likely to place this sector’s long-term development at risk.