Africa Data Centres expands Joburg facility IT load

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 30 Aug 2022
Africa Data Centres breaking ground for the expansion of its Samrand data centre.
Africa Data Centres breaking ground for the expansion of its Samrand data centre.

Cassava Technologies-owned Africa Data Centres has broken ground on the expansion of its Samrand data centre facility in Johannesburg, from 10MW to 40MW of IT load.

In a statement, the firm says Africa Data Centre’s entire platform capacity is expected to exceed 100MW on completion of the Samrand Facility.

“The expansion will happen in multiple phases. The construction of the first phase is starting today and will deliver 20MW across eight data halls by 2023,” says Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres.

“The next phase will include an additional 10MW of IT load by the end of 2025. The infrastructure will be fully modular with all critical plant rooms being prefabricated off-site.”

South Africa is witnessing a huge uptick in data centre construction, as more organisations take their workloads to the cloud.

With the arrival of several submarine internet cables on South African shores, data centres will be critical in handling the increased data traffic.

Of late, international hyperscalers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have established local data centre regions in the country.

According to a report by DLA Piper in South Africa, the country currently has over 50 active data centre locations, with the number growing by the day.

Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres.
Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres.

In June, Vantage Data Centres, a US-based provider of hyperscale data centre campuses, officially opened its R15 billion JNB11 data centre facility in Johannesburg.

During the same month, Africa Data Centres announced it is building a second data centre in Cape Town.

Also in June, African edge data centre firm Open Access Data Centres – a WIOCC Group company – announced deployment of a further nine OADC Edge data centres in SA.

The company said by the end of August, 26 edge data centres will be live, growing to 100 by the end of 2022.

Other players have also opened new data centres locally, including Oracle, Dimension Data and Teraco Data Environments.

In its statement today, Africa Data Centres says it is expanding its capacity in Johannesburg to 100MW of IT load.

This comes hot on the heels of the recent launch of a 10MW data centre at the company’s campus in Midrand and the expansion of the organisation’s operations in Accra, Ghana.

According to Durvasula: “This is a step forward in the organisation’s massive expansion plans announced in September − the most ambitious data centre expansion plans Africa has ever seen.”

The firm notes this will see the data centre giant building large hyperscale data centres across Africa, including the top five data centre markets in North Africa; namely Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, South Africa and Egypt.

“Our unmatched investment of $500 million will enable Africa Data Centres to build numerous interconnected, cloud- and carrier-neutral data centres across the continent. It will more than double our already significant footprint on the continent and aims to help Africa achieve its digital transformation goals,” Durvasula adds.

The company notes the breaking of ground for the Johannesburg facilities is an integral part of the expansion, as SA is one of the most important data centre markets in Africa and a gateway for smaller neighbouring markets.

“South Africa is a strategic location, being at the southern-most point of Africa and is undoubtedly the de facto data centre and technology hub for the Sub-Saharan Africa region,” notes Durvasula.

“This, in conjunction with the increasing fibre connectivity brought by both undersea and terrestrial fibre networks, makes it at the vanguard of data centre expansion on the continent.”

Africa Data Centres believes its ongoing investments in data centre facilities will enable global cloud clients to service SA and the entire Sub-Saharan African region.