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Thousands of virtual jobs created in SA

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Unemployed youths committing crime in South Africa's local communities, file photo

from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – A TECHNOLOGY company has created 3 000 new virtual customer service jobs in South Africa.

This is a major boost to the continent’s most industrialised economy that has nonetheless shed thousands of jobs after the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Amazon confirmed the creation of these jobs, with roles ranging from customer service associates to technical experts who will serve global clients.

The addition of 3000 permanent and seasonal full-time positions will bring the total permanent workforce in South Africa to 7 000, according to the company.

“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.

He said the new jobs reflected the company’s continued commitment to South Africa’s economic development.

“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.”

The government has welcomed the decision by Amazon to locate more of its global services in South Africa.

Ebrahim Patel, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, said the COVID-19 pandemic was accelerating the digital transition of work, hence this decision by Amazon to locate these jobs in South Africa showed the country’s 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,” the minister added.

Amazon first established a presence in Cape Town, setting up a Development Centre in 2004.

In 2019, the Amazon Web Services Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (AWS EEIP) was created to invest over R365 million (US$21 million) in the development of sustainable 100 percent black-owned South African small businesses within the ICT sector.

In April 2020, AWS launched its first region in Africa comprised of three Availability Zones in South Africa.

– CAJ News