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Vantage Data Centers plans R15bn Joburg campus at Waterfall mega-development

US-based Vantage Data Centers on Wednesday revealed plans to invest $1 billion (R15 billion) in a massive new Joburg campus on a 12-hectare site in Waterfall, the mega property node in the middle of Gauteng being spearheaded by JSE-listed Attacq.

Vantage, which is headquartered out of Denver, is a global data centre giant with several sites across the US, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

It said in a statement that the new 80MW campus (already under construction) represents its first-ever facility in Africa, adding that Joburg was selected as it is “the heart of the continent’s largest data centre market”.

Vantage noted that the “massive investment” would “bring new business and positive economic impacts” for the city, helping to “foster economic growth, stimulate job creation, and lead the way in energy‐efficient design”.

The deal also represents a major coup for Attacq, which is the developer driving the Waterfall City mixed-use CBD and broader Waterfall node, that includes logistics, warehousing and now data centre property developments.

“Vantage is a leading global provider of hyperscale data centre campuses. A data centre is a dedicated space for servers and IT equipment. A hyperscale [wholesale] data centre scales this up to comprise hundreds of thousands of servers,” the group explained.

“Vantage’s carrier‐neutral Joburg campus will include 60 000m2 of data space across three facilities once fully developed, making it the largest on the continent,” it added.

Antoine Boniface, president of Vantage for EMEA (Europe, Middle-East and Africa) comments: “Johannesburg is the data centre hub for sub‐Saharan Africa due to its strategic location, IT ecosystem, fibre connectivity to the rest of Africa and the availability of renewable energy.”

“We look forward to opening the doors of our first African facility to our customers and becoming part of the local community. Our first campus has a planned investment of more than R15 billion, and it will add jobs to impact the local economy positively.”

According to Vantage, it is partnering with Attacq to develop a campus that is tailored to meet the requirements of Vantage’s global campus blueprint.

“Indirectly, the potential impact is significant. Having an African campus could create a cost‐effective digital infrastructure solution for myriad fintech companies and local businesses,” the group added.

Attacq CEO Jackie van Niekerk said that the group was thrilled to have Vantage Data Centers’ join the Waterfall precinct.

“With a scalable, fit‐for‐future logistics hub and a world‐class corporate campus, Waterfall City has an established track record of attracting leading international businesses such as BMW, PwC, Massbuild, Cotton On and Cummins to the precinct,” she noted.

“As the developers of Waterfall City, Attacq is working with Vantage to build a campus that is tailored to meet the organisation’s global requirements while still leveraging Waterfall’s unique capacity to scale its tenant footprints according to evolving company and market demand,” added van Niekerk.

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