Microsoft has revealed its plans to construct a cutting-edge data center campus in Kosmosdal, Centurion, South Africa, reinforcing the tech giant’s commitment to advancing data management capabilities.
Currently, in the early stages of development, Microsoft aims to expand its cloud infrastructure in new areas of South Africa to meet the growing demand for cloud and AI services and solutions from both the public sector and private organizations on the continent.
The company expressed its eagerness to collaborate with the municipality, local organizations, and the residents of Kosmosdal to ensure the sustainable development of the data center plans.
Microsoft, being the second “hyperscaler” to officially launch cloud computing services in South Africa, inaugurated data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town in March 2019. Azure Availability Zones were introduced in the South Africa North region in October 2021.
The company, with a 30-year presence in South Africa, has affirmed its dedication to technology transformation, digital empowerment, and significant investments in infrastructure, innovation, skills, and enterprise development for the benefit of the local population.
The new data center campus is seen as the next phase in Microsoft’s commitment to accelerating digital transformation in South Africa and across the African continent, focusing on inclusivity, trustworthiness, and responsibility.
In September 2023, Microsoft announced plans for a potential investment of at least $1 billion in South Africa, considering the use of nuclear energy to power its data centers. A job listing for a Principal Program Manager for Nuclear Technology hinted at the company’s interest in integrating controversial nuclear energy into its future data centers.
Microsoft Could Allocate Between $1 billion to $6.8 billion to its Data Centers
If realized, Microsoft could allocate between $1 billion to $6.8 billion to each country hosting its data centers, considering the potential use of small nuclear power plants. South Africa currently houses Microsoft’s data centers, making it the only African country with two facilities in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
During an online press conference, Microsoft emphasized that the new data center would enhance cloud capacity and capabilities, facilitating faster growth for organizations. The South African data centers began offering Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform online services, supporting various organizations.
Microsoft’s announcement aligns with Google’s recent launch of a new Google Cloud region in South Africa, following in the footsteps of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, both of which invested significantly in cloud infrastructure and data centers in the country.
Karin Jones, Microsoft South Africa Director of Business Applications GTM, highlighted the importance of cloud services delivered from South Africa, enabling local companies to securely move their businesses to the cloud while adhering to data residency, sovereignty, and compliance requirements.
Jones also pointed out the growing recognition of the cloud’s value in South Africa, as reflected in the State of Cybersecurity in South Africa report, indicating increased cloud adoption and spending by organizations in the country.