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STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES AND ASSET MANAGEMENT, ALDERMAN JAMES VOS.

Liquid Telecom’s data centre expansion, made easier through the City of Cape Town’s investment incentive programme, will not only create more job opportunities for Capetonians, but will greatly support local South African companies and local, provincial and national government with world-class data centre facilities. Read more below:

I am delighted to confirm that today, at a full sitting of the City of Cape Town’s Council, the application by Liquid Telecom to access the City’s investment incentive was approved. This approval is most welcome especially given the difficulties we face as a city due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our local economy.

The incentives policy provides for a range of financial and non-financial incentives and this most recent approval shows that the investments incentives offered by the City of Cape Town is effective in attracting major players and contributing to the growth of our economy.

The support provided to Liquid Telecom, through an electricity tariff rebate, will pave the way and contribute to the expansion, currently underway, of Africa Data Centres’ Diep River data centre facility. Africa Data Centres, a part of the Liquid Telecom Group, accounts for more than R700 million of their investment in data centre infrastructure.

The expansion of the Diep River data centre facility will more than double the current capacity of the facility in the next 12 to 18 months.

Despite the difficult economic climate, African Data Centres has shown confidence in the economic story of Cape Town and are proceeding with their major expansion.

As the world adapts to a new way of working, especially online, the provision of data facilities is very welcome and necessary. This crisis has shown us that our economic resilience has been enhanced by the IT infrastructure provided by both the public and private sector in the form of fibre networks and data centres and the associated services that they provide

This expansion will support local South African companies and local, provincial and national government with world-class data centre facilities. Also, it is designed to attract global cloud providers to expand their operations in Cape Town at a hyper-scale level.

The first phase of this investment has already been completed, with several local companies having been contracted to do the work during this phase. The additional expansion has commenced with a significant portion of the capital expenditure also directed into the local economy. It is estimated that this investment will create numerous direct and indirect job opportunities

In addition to creating employment, Africa Data Centres is determined to enhance the skill development ecosystem by enabling young people to build technical skills. The company is launching training programmes for data centre technicians and other related fields to build the local talent bench for the industry.

The City of Cape Town’s Enterprise and Investment department, focuses on attracting investment with targeted interventions. These include investment facilitation services that help investors navigate municipal processes and clear bottlenecks.

Where there is a will there is a way to contribute and grow our economy. Together with my team, I will continue to explore all avenues to ensure our economy not only survives but comes out of this crisis stronger than before.

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