Cell C to build new head office campus

CEO Alan Knott-Craig says there will be "nothing on the campus you can't do". By Duncan McLeod.

Alan Knott-Craig

Third mobile operator Cell C plans to build a new, 50 000sq m campus north of Sandton to integrate its disparate offices, which are located across Johannesburg, from Parktown to Sandton.

The new facility — which will house Cell C’s head office, a national network operations centre (NOC), customer walk-in centres, its call centre and a distribution warehouse — will be built at the confluence of the N1 and the N3 freeways near Woodmead, about 2km south of Midrand.

It will be located on currently vacant land diagonally opposite TopTV’s head office across the Buccleuch interchange.

A number of technology companies, including Nashua and Oracle, already have offices in the area, which is centrally located between Johannesburg and Pretoria, with a freeway to the east leading to OR Tambo International airport.

“We’re currently spread all over the place,” Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig tells TechCentral. “Everything will now be in one building. We will build a new NOC, IT and data centres, and a proper customer care centre. There’ll be nothing on the campus you can’t do.”

When Knott-Craig was group CEO of Vodacom, he was instrumental in the construction of a sprawling campus for the mobile operator in Midrand, with a shopping centre called Vodaworld — recently renamed Vodacom World — taking centre stage. The Vodacom facility includes conference facilities and a gym.

The new Cell C campus will form part of the multibillion-rand Waterfall Business Estate development, which straddles the N1 between the Buccleuch interchange and Midrand’s Allandale Road. Property fund Atterbury Investment Holdings is the major investor in the property development. The Islamic Institute has owned the land since 1934. According to a recent report in the Business Report newspaper, Atterbury had secured a 99-year lease over the site because the land could not be sold in terms of Islamic law.

The Waterfall development will consist of a shopping mall, offices and homes.

“This is one of the only places left between Johannesburg and Pretoria where land is relatively cheap,” Knott-Craig says. “It’s also easier to get things like fibre in there.”

He says the company has secured sufficient space to allow it to build more offices if needed in future. In total, about 2 500 people will work at the facility, including Cell C staff, contractors and suppliers.

The company expects to move into the new facility on 1 December 2013. “They turn the soil in a week,” Knott-Craig says.  — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media

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