Amazon has announced that it will be permanently hiring 3,000 people in South Africa to fill roles in new virtual jobs in their Customer Service division during 2020. According to the company, the remote working roles will range from customer service associates to technical experts who will work virtually and provide around the clock support to Amazon's customers in North America and Europe.

Those interested in working for Amazonโ€™s Customer Service division can view the available positions at and then filtering to see the jobs available by location by typing: South Africa. With these new roles, Amazon has stated that it will bring its total permanent staff complement in South Africa to 7,000.

โ€œWe 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. The new jobs reflect our continued commitment to South Africaโ€™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,โ€ Andrew Raichlin, Director of Amazon Customer Service in South Africa.

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Digital technology is creating jobs

In South Africa, there have been fears that digital technologies are taking away people's jobs. With the 4th Industrial Revolution hype has also come a chorus of people saying that the country needs to be cautious in adopting such technologies as this means the loss of much-needed jobs for a country already sitting with 29% of its employable people, unemployed.

This can also be observed when Multichoice announced that it was going to retrench over 2,000 staff in its customer care division during 2019. Announcing these retrenchments, Multichoice's CEO, Calvo Mawela, said that "the company is also in an environment where it will rely more on technology than people."

The irony of this is that Amazon is hiring 3,000 people for its customer service division, a similar division that Multichoice stated is being disrupted by technology.

How to apply to work for Amazon in South Africa

Amazon has, over the past few years, been increasing its commitment to South Africa and the continent. Not only did the company announce an extensive program for supporting black owned ICT companies in South Africa, but earlier in 2020 it also announced the availability of an AWS Data Center Region in Cape Town.

People interested in applying for the customer service jobs need to meet the following requirements: completed Matric/Grade 12/NQF Level 4 qualification or higher, excellent command of English and be a South African Citizen. Candidates will also be required to translate technical information and provide instructions to help Amazon customers troubleshoot issues they have. Added to this, applicants will also be required to have a private, quiet workspace and an existing and dedicated Internet connection, according to Amazon specifications.

โ€œWe 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. 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. 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," said Ebrahim Patel, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.

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