Amazon Announces Major New Investment into Cape Town


Cheri Morris November 15, 2018 International News

Cape Town and the Western Cape welcomes Amazon’s announcement of a significant new investment into the establishment of three data centres in Cape Town.

Amazon is one of the world’s largest companies, recording $1 trillion market cap last month.

Wesgro believes this investment will endorse the Cape as Amazon’s hub in Africa, and expand on their existing investment in the Amazon Development Centre for Amazon Web Services, and their establishment of one of Cape Town’s largest call centres.

The market-leading data centres that Amazon will be constructing on three sites will dramatically expand the computing capacity in the region, providing a boost to Cape Town’s status as the tech and big data hub of Africa.

Welcoming the investment, Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, said: “Cape Town has recently been identified as the tech hub of Africa, and when tech giants like Amazon make the decision to open their data centres here, it shows massive confidence in the Western Cape economy and our skills base. The ICT sector has massive potential for economic growth and this investment by Amazon will contribute significantly towards economic development and will create new jobs in the sphere, really cementing our reputation as a space for innovation and technology.”

Speaking to the power of partnerships GreenCape CEO, Mike Mulcahy, said that officials from GreenCape, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism, InvestSA from the Department of Trade and Industry and Wesgro have been working hard behind the scenes to assist Amazon to grow their business footprint in South Africa on the back of major new investments.

Mulachy added, “AWS’s investment is a direct result of their long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for their global infrastructure. With 22 out of 25 municipalities in the province allowing customers to feed electricity into the grid, and with a regulator-approved wheeling tariff and framework for Cape Town, it is an ideal base for AWS in Africa. GreenCape’s energy team look forward to working further with AWS to help them achieve their renewable energy goals here in SA.”

Aligning with the kick off of the President’s Investment Summit, geared towards improving confidence in the country’s economy and to help spur sustainable and inclusive growth, Wesgro CEO Tim Harris commented: “This investment decision by Amazon will be a significant boost to President Cyril Ramaphosa and his team’s effort to attract $100bn of new investment to the country. The deal was sealed on the back of the incentives that will be available at the new Atlantis Special Economic Zone, underlining the importance of a competitive incentive regime for attracting investment.”

Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille said: “It is with great pride that the City of Cape Town welcomes Amazon Web Service’s continued investment in the city. It reinforces Cape Town’s standing as the leading tech hub in Africa, with the most start-ups on the continent and the home for large global tech companies to invest. The City is continuously creating an enabling environment for companies to invest by easing the way of doing business while we create reliable infrastructure.”

De Lille went on to say that each year the City spends nearly R9 billion on infrastructure, securing the expansion of good fibre internet connection, reliable electricity supply and other support services. Further to this, the City has been investing in the Digi-tech ecosystem in Cape Town for many years, and the decision by Amazon bears testament to this. “Our officials have been working closely with Amazon for over 2 years facilitating this investment and we are very proud to be the location for expansion by one of the world’s leading tech giants. The tech sector has high growth potential for our economy and citizens, and we will continue to lead and position Cape Town as one of the leading investment destinations in Africa. Cape Town is also home to four universities and a steady stream of engineers and the required skills to support the expansion of the tech sector. The City welcomes Amazon’s investment as we believe it further strengthens Cape Town’s position as global ideas capital of Africa.”