Amazon jobs available in South Africa — including for Starlink rival Project Kuiper

Amazon is currently offering a handful of jobs in South Africa after several years of advertising hundreds and even thousands of local positions.

At the time of publication, the Amazon Jobs website showed the ecommerce and cloud services giant had 12 full-time jobs available in the country.

That is significantly lower than in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and a resulting boom in ecommerce activity in August 2020, Amazon started hiring 3,000 remote working customer service agents in South Africa.

Following that big recruitment drive, local full-time vacancies at the company dropped to around 150 by September 2021 before gradually climbing back up to roughly 300 jobs by June 2022.

By November 2022, the number of available positions again declined to 175.

Image: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

While the previous decreases were likely due to Amazon filling most of those roles, the drop to a measly 13 positions by January 2023 and 12 in March 2023 — correlated with Amazon’s recent hiring slowdown across its international operations.

The company shed around 100,000 jobs between two quarters in 2022, primarily through attrition, before announcing 18,000 job cuts in early 2023.

It admitted it hired too many people during the pandemic and needed to cut back due to declining sales.

Amazon’s financial challenges also reportedly contributed to the delay of its South African marketplace launch from early 2023 to the end of the year.

All but one of the 12 positions Amazon advertises in South Africa are based in Cape Town.

The sole Johannesburg job is for the manager of international regulator affairs and licencing for Project Kuiper, Amazon’s low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband service.

The company aims to rival SpaceX’s Starlink and UK-based service OneWeb with its own fast-speed, low-latency satellite broadband, but it has some catching up to do.

Amazon is only planning to launch its first Project Kuiper satellites this year, while the service is slated to be fully up and running by 2029.

SpaceX started launching its Starlink satellites in 2019, and its network of 3,580 satellites now covers around 50 countries.

While it technically has global coverage, it has had to secure operating licences in each territory where it wanted to sell its services.

In South Africa, SpaceX has seemingly struggled to get clearance to operate Starlink from local regulators.

The service’s local estimated availability date is currently “unknown” after being pushed back from 2022 when the company initially opened pre-orders.

Over 20 countries in Africa have either already received the service or are going live sometime in 2023 or 2024, pending regulatory approval.

Most recently, Rwanda became the second country on the continent to get the service, following Nigeria.

Requirements for Project Kuiper job

Considering the complexity of the global telecommunications regulation environment, it makes sense that Amazon wants a dedicated staff member to focus on this aspect.

Amazon said the successful applicant would work with engineering, business, legal, and public policy professionals to execute Kuiper’s licensing strategy in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

“The ideal candidate will manage complex regulatory projects dealing with satellite and spectrum regulations, communications services, and other issues involved with deploying a global satellite broadband constellation,” the job description stated.

Basic qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or another relevant discipline, and five or more years of related spectrum management experience and securing licences for telecoms services and ensuring international regulatory compliance.

Amazon adds that a candidate with experience working with high-level government officials and collaborating with technical and non-technical teams is preferred.

The table below shows all the vacancies for which Amazon is currently hiring in South Africa.

Amazon jobs in South Africa
Jobs Application link
Administrative support (1)
KDP Support Analyst, Portuguese, Kindle Direct Publishing Click here for details 
Customer Service (6)
CS Specialist, trad. Chinese, Publisher Support Click here for details
KDP Support Analyst, German, Kindle Direct Publishing Click here for details
KDP Support Analyst, Italian, Kindle Direct Publishing Click here for details
Customer Support Specialist (Dutch) — Kindle Direct Publishing Click here for details
Author Central Specialist (German), Author Central Click here for details
2023 German Speaking Associate Click here for details
Operations, IT, & Support Engineering  (3)
DCEO Facility Manager Click here for details
Engineering Operations Tech, Cape Town DCEO Team Click here for details
Engineering Operations Tech, Cape Town DCEO Team Click here for details
Public Policy (1)
Manager, International Regulatory Affairs & Licensing, Project Kuiper Click here for details
Software development (1)
Software Development Engineer Internship — 2023 Click here for details

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Amazon jobs available in South Africa — including for Starlink rival Project Kuiper