Data centre boom in South Africa — with billions flowing into the country

South Africa’s data centre market has received substantial financial injections in recent years, with several large companies announcing plans to build new facilities.

Companies such as Teraco and Africa Data Centres have invested or plan to invest billions of rands in developing new data centres in South Africa.

The biggest investment — a R15 billion hyperscale data centre campus in Waterfall, Gauteng — is currently being constructed for Vantage Data Centres.

Africa Data Centres also announced a substantial investment in the South African market in September 2021. The company is building hyperscale data centres to the value of R7.2 billion throughout Africa — including one in South Africa.

Shortly after Africa Data Centres’ announcement, Teraco Data Environments opened a multi-billion rand data centre in Cape Town. The facility is the largest of its kind in the Western Cape.

Some of the most recent and crucial developments in South Africa’s data centre market are summarised below.

Vantage Data Centres’ Waterfall campus

The site of Vantage Data Centres’ new campus in Waterfall, Gauteng

Vantage Data Centres announced that it had begun construction on its Waterfall data centre in October 2021, and the first phase of the 80MW campus is expected to come online in the last quarter of 2022.

According to the company, the carrier-neutral campus will comprise three facilities across a 12-hectare property. It will offer 60,000 square meters of data centre space once fully developed.

Vantage EMEA president Antoine Boniface explained that Johannesburg was a data centre hub on the continent due to its strategic location, IT ecosystem, fibre connectivity, and access to renewable energy sources.

Africa Data Centres invests R7.2 billion in Africa — and buys Standard Bank’s data centre

Former Africa Data Centres CEO, Stephane Duproz

Africa Data Centres began the process to buy Standard Bank’s Samrand data centre in April 2020 and received approval from the Competition Tribunal to complete the purchase the following month.

The company explained that the centre has sufficient power and space for significant expansion, adding that it is widely regarded as the most reputable data centre in Africa.

“The unique combination of this outstanding facility with Africa Data Centres’ certified operational excellence makes it the ideal choice for the most demanding organisations, particularly those in the financial services sector,” former Africa Data Centres CEO Stephane Duproz said.

Duproz now serves as group executive director of Africa Data Centres’ parent, Cassava Technologies.

In September 2021, Africa Data Centres announced plans to invest R7.2 billion to build hyperscale data centres throughout Africa. More recently, the company announced that it is expanding its capacity in Johannesburg to 100MW of IT load.

Africa Data Centres said it also plans to expand its hyper-scale and business-focused data centres at its campuses in Midrand and Samrand.

Teraco opens multi-billion rand data centre in Cape Town

Teraco Data Environment’s CT2 data centre in Brackenfell, Cape Town

Teraco Data Environments announced that it had completed the first phase of its new hyperscale data centre in Brackenfell, Cape Town, in October 2021.

The facility, known as CT2, features 25,000 square meters of building structure, 8,000 square meters of data hall space, and 18MW of critical power load and is linked to all other Teraco-owned data systems through a web of network operators making up “Platform Teraco”.

Recently, a San Francisco-based real estate investment group, Digital Realty, valued Teraco at over R50 billion when it announced its intentions to buy a 55% stake in the company.

Acronis opens its first South African data centre

Peter French, Acronis’ Middle East and Africa regional general manager

In January 2022, Acronis announced that its Cyber Cloud Data Centre — situated in Johannesburg — was up and running.

“A local presence is a necessity for modern cloud businesses, and we are proud to deliver the Acronis Cyber Cloud Data Center in South Africa,” Acronis’ Peter French said.

The new data centre is one of 111 being developed by Acronis, and it supplies service provider partners with cyber protection services, through which they can build new products.

Oracle goes live in Johannesburg

Rendered image of Oracle’s data centre in Johannesburg

The cloud services provider Oracle went live in Johannesburg in January 2022. Its Johannesburg data centre is its first in Africa.

Oracle EMEA executive vice president, Richard Smith, said the new region could provide a leading-edge cloud platform to help run applications faster, more securely, and at a lower price point.

Companies that are set to benefit from the new region include the Airports Company South Africa, Government Pensions Administrative Agency, and Telkom.

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Data centre boom in South Africa — with billions flowing into the country