In the past, South Africa has had an on-going issue with the rate of unemployment. The average unemployment rate between the years 2016 and 2019 was around 27%. Due to the global pandemic, the South African economy is being drastically affected, increasing the number for 2020 to 35.31%.
South African President- Cyril Ramaphosa– called for citizens to be realistic about the future as businesses are closing down permanently, and companies are retrenching staff, causing a tidal wave of job losses. But while many companies are taking a knock, others seem to be striving and international online retailers, Amazon, is one of them.
Amazon Invests In South Africa
On Thursday, the 18th of June, Amazon announced the creation of 3000 virtual jobs for South Africans. The Director of Amazon customer services in SA, Andrew Raichlin, stated how “thrilled” they are with South African talent and would like to create relief for people during these tedious times. The jobs include working in customer services to technical experts who will provide support to customers in European and North American countries.
The Coronavirus has caused people to become more digitally–driven and, through Amazon providing stay-at-home jobs, will help with the economic development as well as safety measurements within the country. Employees are also to be granted medical aid contributions, group life cover, and wellness programs, as well as a monthly sum towards internet coverage.
Why South Africa?
Unemployment in South Africa is mostly due to inadequate education. Statistics show that 90.7% of unemployed people worked previously in low or semi-skilled occupations; therefore, providing these virtual jobs will increase the number of skilled employees within the country. The applicants do not require more than a completed matric, a good grasp of the English language, and a workspace with an existing internet connection.
This is an excellent opportunity for young people, seeing as 39.5% of unemployed people consist of the youth, as well as first–time job–seekers. There are plenty of people worried about their future while others queue for relief funds- hopefully, this can be cause for change. Life continues to go on, alongside Coronavirus. We should not try so hard to restore what has been broken or long for things to return to the way they were, but rather focus on creating and developing something new, which is why we can look to Amazon as a light at the end of the tunnel.