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Online retailer Amazon has continued to thrive through Covid-19 containment, including in South Africa where it plans to add at least 3,000 jobs – bringing its workforce in the country to 7,000. Amazon’s announcement comes as other corporates announce job losses. Bricks-and-mortar based retailers Edgars and Jet are on the market for buyers, though Edcon retrenchment notices have been sent out to about 22,000 retail employees. Smaller retailers have struggled with no income in the lockdown period, with restaurant owners and others begging the government to lift restrictions. – Jackie Cameron
Amazon to add 3,000 jobs in South Africa
By Loni Prinsloo
Amazon.com Inc. plans to add 3,000 jobs in South Africa, giving a boost to a country struggling with unemployment amid measures to contain the coronavirus.
The Seattle-based internet giant will hire both permanent and seasonal staff ranging from customer-service positions to technical experts, according to a statement on Thursday.
The expansion will increase Amazon’s workforce in the country to 7,000.
South Africa’s unemployment rate stood at 29% even before Covid-19 began to spread in March, and the number of people out of work is expected to have climbed further after most businesses were forced to shut down as part of a government-imposed lockdown.
Customer service jobs, technical jobs
MyBroadband.co.za reports that these roles will range from customer service associates to technical experts who will work from home and provide support to Amazon customers in North America and Europe.
“These roles will range from customer service associates to technical experts who will work virtually and provide 24/7 support to Amazon customers in North America and Europe,” Amazon is quoted as saying.
“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 Amazon South Africa customer service director Andrew Raichlin.
“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,” he added.
According to MyBroadband.co.za, in order to be eligible for one of the new Amazon jobs, you must have the following:
- Matric/Grade 12/NQF Level 4 qualification or higher
- Excellent command of English
- South African citizenship
Technical positions will support customer inquiries on devices, digital and Alexa, with employees required to translate technical information and provide instructions to help customers troubleshoot problems, says the website.
It notes that Amazon is offering employees comprehensive benefits from day one, including employer contributions toward medical aid and a provident fund, group life cover, employee wellness programmes, and a monthly stipend for a dedicated Internet line.
“Amazon said that applicants will need a quiet, private workspace and a dedicated Internet connection.”
Apply for the new positions by navigating to Amazon’s jobs portal and searching for the term “South Africa”.
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