How Salesforce plans to bring new jobs to SA

  • Salesforce hosted the local leg of its World Tour Essentials in Johannesburg this week.
  • The CRM specialists forecasted what its presence in SA will mean for job creation.
  • As many as 31 800 jobs should be created by the Salesforce economy by 2026.

This week, Salesforce hosted the South African iteration of its World Tour Essentials event in Johannesburg.

The event was hosted at Kyalami racetrack, which may seem odd for a CRM-focused company, but during a handful of demonstrations for new AI-powered solutions, it quickly became evident that one of Salesforce’s big customers is Formula 1.

As such, it served as the perfect customer to showcase the new tools that Salesforce has recently rolled out, including its Cloud AI and Einstein GPT offerings.

Shifting to the opening keynote on the day, delivered by Zuko Mdwaba, area VP for Africa and South Africa country leader, it highlighted many of the core values of the company, along with a desire to make its partners, customer companies, in much the same way that Salesforce is.

The other aspect given specific attention during the keynote was job creation. To that end, the company provided an update to how many jobs are expected to be created as a result of the Salesforce economy. Here it is projecting as many as 31 800 jobs being created in South Africa by 2026, along with $5.1 billion in new business revenue under the same timeframe.

The latter figure is based on a 2021 IDC report, but the job creation figures are more recent.

As such, the 31 800 being touted bodes well for South Africa, especially as there is both a critical lack of skills in the country, as well as crippling unemployment.

But what is the Salesforce economy?

Here we leaned on Robin Fisher, head of the Mediterranean, Austria, Israel, CEE, Middle East and Africa region for Salesforce, who was present at a media roundtable later in the day.

As Fisher explains it, the Salesforce economy is a combination of jobs that are directly linked to the company, as well as jobs created by Salesforce customers.

Fisher added that South Africa represents a key territory for the company, particularly as it is seen as the fastest growing in the EMEA region, with a more mature digital ecosystem compared to the rest of the African continent cited as a reason for this.

Looking at that 31 800 figure then, while Salesforce will make up a portion of this, having set up a legal entity 18 months ago and taken root in office space Sandton (Rosebank) recently, customers will make up the large portion of this number.

Here Fisher explained that there are roughly 1 000 Salesforce customers across South Africa. If each of these organisations create an in-house Salesforce expert, not to mention financial institutions like Standard Bank developing entire teams dedicated to this ecosystem, the 31 800 figure looks easily achievable.

With much expected from the company in the coming months and years, especially as AI is forming a key aspect of its digital solutions, it will be interesting to see how close it is to reaching that 31 800 number by the time next year’s World Tour Essentials event touches down in SA.


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