Online retail giant Amazon, has announced the creation of 3,000 new virtual jobs in Customer Service in South Africa in 2020. These roles will range from customer service associates to technical experts who will work virtually and provide 24 by 7 support to Amazon customers in North America and Europe.
The addition of 3,000 permanent and seasonal full-time positions will bring the total permanent workforce in South Africa to 7,000.
“We are thrilled with the talent in South Africa and we are excited to add 3,000 skilled jobs this year in Customer Service, and to help keep people working during this unprecedented time,” said Andrew Raichlin, director of Amazon Customer Service in South Africa. “The new jobs reflect our continued commitment to South Africa’s economic development, and I am proud to have South Africa be a growing part of our ability to deliver a great experience to Amazon customers around the world and provide employees with the opportunity to work safely from home.”
Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, said: “We welcome the decision by Amazon to locate more of its global services in South Africa. The business process services sector has grown fast, drawing on the skills and talent of young South Africans and a stable infrastructure. The sector has been able to provide world-class support to clients, both locally and internationally.”
Patel added that the economy will increasingly shift to more productive services and digital technologies, which can provide significant opportunities for young people. “The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the digital transition of work, and this decision by Amazon to locate these jobs in South Africa shows our ability to offer a good value-proposition,” he explained. “Government has focused part of our incentive programme on the industry, and with our talent, strong ICT infrastructure and digital capabilities, we aim to secure thousands more jobs like these in years to come.”
Candidates interested in applying must meet the following requirements: completed Matric/Grade 12/NQF Level 4 qualification or higher, excellent command of English and be a South African Citizen. The technical positions will support customer inquiries on devices, digital and Alexa. These roles will require candidates to translate technical information and provide instructions to help Amazon customers trouble shoot issues. Since these will be virtual roles, applicants will also need a private, quiet workspace and an existing and dedicated internet connection, according to Amazon specifications. Anyone interested in joining Amazon’s Customer Service team can view open positions at www.amazon.jobs, filtering by location and typing: South Africa to view the open positions.
The additional skilled jobs created will bring the total permanent workforce for Amazon in South Africa to 7,000. Employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package starting on day one, including employer contributions toward medical aid and provident fund, group life cover, employee wellness programmes, and a monthly stipend for a dedicated internet line. Amazon also offers Customer Service employees interested in pursuing opportunities outside of Amazon, the opportunity and financial support to upskill themselves through Career Choice. All these initiatives encapsulate Amazon’s commitment to transformation, inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
Amazon has a long history in South Africa. Amazon Web Services (AWS) first established a presence in Cape Town, setting up a Development Centre in 2004, building pioneering technologies focused on networking, next-generation software for customer support, software programs utilised by the AWS business, and more. In 2010, Customer Service opened its operations in Cape Town and, today, employs thousands of individuals at the Customer Service Centre.
In 2015, AWS expanded its presence in the country, opening an AWS office in Johannesburg and in 2017 and the Amazon Global Network expanded to Africa, through AWS Direct Connect. Two years ago, AWS launched Amazon CloudFront locations in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and in 2020 launched an edge location in Nairobi, Kenya.