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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  • Sannie

    The best is they are building a new premises, however, just retrenched staff. The question is, they are willing to use money on building a new premises, but, no money to keep the staff

  • http://www.InTheCube.co.za/ Saajid – InTheCube.co.za

     That’s business boet.

  • Kamupied

    Alan Knot Craig will decide who gets the contracts to build the new Cell C Campus just like Bush did after destroying Iraq, in this case Alan destroyed the lives of the retrenched. Dont be fooled, this has nothing to do with creating efficiencies this has everything about amassing wealth for themselves..

  • Ernestank

    Saajid you are probably one of his new appointees, or a contractor who will benefit! They have a crumbling business because they neglected their biggest asset! Their employees!  Now they employ the HERO (AKC) who fires these employees to make way for his cronies and poached employees from the competition!! With billions from foreign investors he can now build a new Empire on new premises! What an achievement! He has blood on his hands…

  • http://www.InTheCube.co.za/ Saajid – InTheCube.co.za

    Oh cry me a river. People lose jobs ALL the time. It’s a fact of life. Blackberry maker RIM will soon retrench 6500 people. None of them committed suicide yet. Nokia is about to retrench close to 10,000 people, plus another 850 when they shut down their main plant in Finland. Google it. There are 100s of other struggling tech and telecoms companies around the world doing or about to do the same.  That guy would have probably offed himself at the slightest bit of stress anyway. He was not YET retrenched, but decided to jump the gun. He obviously had other mental issues and problems in his life, and this was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Blaming this on Cell C is like Malema blaming the white people for causing cancer. And please explain how this is NOT about business?

    How will the building of a new 50,000 sq campus in a multi-million rand project not create jobs? What was the whole point of the 2010 world cup, if not to kickstart the economy with big construction projects? Tourism was only a tiny part of the benefits of the world cup. Why does government use job-creation as a motivating factor for large infrastructure projects?

    I am not arrogant. I’m stating the facts, while you’re playing on emotions. And AKC used to be high up on my telecoms big-wigs hate list, very close to the top, for screwing up RSA’s telecoms industry while CEO of Vodacom (Poison Ivy was at the top, followed by ICASA, government, and Telkom). But then again, it was business – AKCs job was to run a company in the most profitable way to please shareholders, of which our government had a 50% stake.

    If you are really going to call money being spent on infrastructure a “waste”, then there is little left to convince you, as you have little-to-no business clue.

  • http://www.InTheCube.co.za/ Saajid – InTheCube.co.za

    You’re completely wrong. Read my blog, see who my employer is (click on my username above).

    You are probably a disgruntled Cell C employee, who either knew the
    suicide victim, sympathised with him, or are in the firing line as well.
    You’re clearly responding from an emotional standpoint, which is understandable, but don’t forget the facts.

    Why would you say they have a crumbling business? Sure they WERE struggling, and might still be so, but they are starting to gain traction, and are giving both Vodacom and MTN a run for their money, so much so that they do not know how to respond to Cell C. And the biggest reason for their struggle in previous years, was that interconnect rates were almost doubled by MTN and Vodacom when they first entered the market. Google it. This put Cell C at a huge disadvantage and they struggled to gain a foothold, even with millions of subscribers. Hence Cell C’s lobbying of government and ICASA for asymmetric interconnect rates which favoured new entrants and smaller players.

  • http://www.InTheCube.co.za/ Saajid – InTheCube.co.za

    “Dont be fooled, this has nothing to do with creating efficiencies this has everything about amassing wealth for themselves..”

    Funny how you contradict yourself in the sentence above. Business IS about creating wealth (do you really want the dictionary definition?), and one of the ways of doing so is by doing things more efficiently and reducing costs.

  • tinyiko valoyi

    i sense a lot of hate towards Alan Knott-Craig, what you guys want him to do. He is the CEO at Cell-C and he is going to hire those he feels he need to help him achieve the targets that he has agreed with the Cell-C shareholders. There is nothing wrong with building a new head-office for the company. It seems people expect him to doll out cash to them. he is answerable to the board of directors and shareholders of Cell-C.

    Cool off and just go and join Telkom where you can strike to keep your job even if you do not perform. This is private capital and they are not obliged to keep anyone in their job.

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