U.S. e-commerce firm Amazon announced it will launch its online shopping service in South Africa in 2024, entering a market dominated by Naspers’ TakeAlot.
The online retail giant said starting on Tuesday, independent sellers in South Africa could register their businesses on its marketplace website.
In November last year, the High Court in South Africa gave a greenlight for the construction of a multi-million-dollar project which had been halted by a previous court decision.
Construction of a nine-storey business and residential complex on a greenfield site that will be anchored by Amazon was first approved by city authorities in 2021.
But work on the $225 million complex was suspended in March 2022 after indigenous people took legal action.
Some of the country’s first inhabitants, the Khoisan, said the development lies on a battlefield where their ancestors fought Portuguese colonisers in 1510.
Indigenous communities in South Africa still face vast social inequalities and lack of economic activities, with their history often overlooked.
Located on what was previously a golf course, Amazon’s new HQ will have a total floor space of 70,000 square metres (7.5 million feet) — equivalent to almost 10 football pitches.
The project holds the promise of thousands of jobs in a country where unemployment is cripplingly high.
Several Khoisan groups had thrown their support behind the project after the developers agreed to build a heritage, cultural and media centre that will be operated by indigenous groups.