Online retail giant Amazon to open shop in SA in 2024

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 17 Oct 2023 will officially go live in South Africa in 2024. will officially go live in South Africa in 2024.

After lengthy denials, resulting in the worst-kept secret in the tech industry, e-commerce giant Amazon today officially confirmed its plans to launch its online store in South Africa. will go live in the country in 2024, says the company in a statement.

It further notes that independent sellers in South Africa can register their businesses on, starting today.

According to Amazon, more than 60% of sales in its e-commerce store are from independent sellers, saying its launch will provide local independent sellers “an opportunity to rapidly launch, grow and scale their businesses”.

“We look forward to launching in South Africa, providing local sellers, brand owners and entrepreneurs – small and large – the opportunity to grow their business with Amazon, and delivering great value and a convenient shopping experience for customers across South Africa,” says Robert Koen, general manager of the Sub-Saharan Africa region for Amazon.

In South Africa, US-based online retail giant Amazon will take on Naspers-owned e-commerce platform Takealot, which comprises, Mr D Food and Superbalist.

Its arrival comes as SA’s online retail passed the R50 billion milestone in 2022, accounting for around 4.7% of the total retail market, according to the Online Retail in South Africa 2022 study conducted by World Wide Worx with Mastercard.

Amazon’s plans to set up operations on South African shores have been an open secret for several years now, with numerous reports on the company’s hiring spree for its local e-tailer.

Although the company faced legal challenges with the construction of its headquarters in Cape Town, it was granted a reprieve in the matter, getting the go-ahead to build its multibillion-rand facility.

Cape Town’s River Club Development will serve as the home of US retail giant Amazon.

According to Amazon, local small businesses are already “looking forward” to an opportunity to grow their businesses in the Amazon store.

“African Mamas is very excited at the prospect of working with Amazon locally, to leverage their tools and expertise to grow our e-commerce business. We cannot wait to embark on this journey of growth,” says Nomaswazi Tinus, founder and director of African Mamas Crafts.

Another business, according to Amazon, is Reader’s Warehouse, created by two brothers who grew up with a passion for books and reading.

Sean Bulpin, director of Reader’s Warehouse, states: “I am absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to partner with Amazon and sell in their store. This presents an incredible chance to expand our e-commerce business and tap into a broader customer base in South Africa.”

Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in his garage in 1994. He went on to grow it into a colossus that dominates online retail, with operations in streaming music and television, groceries, cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence and more.

Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalised recommendations, Prime, Fulfilment by Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

Robert Koen, general manager of the Sub-Saharan Africa region for Amazon.
Robert Koen, general manager of the Sub-Saharan Africa region for Amazon.