Chinese electronics giant Huawei is ramping up its investment in South Africa, creating a new campus consisting of 18 buildings in Johannesburg to house its various operations in the country.

The company told TechCentral this week that it has already begun moving into the Harrowdene Office Park in Woodmead, north of Sandton. “We will be launching it in the near future,” said Huawei spokeswoman Vanashree Govender.

The area has become something of a technology hub, with multinationals such as Ericsson, 3M, SAP, Sage and Accenture all in the immediate vicinity. JSE-listed telecommunications provider Huge Group also has an office in the suburb.

The new campus has been christened the Huawei Office Park and consists of 18 distinct buildings, Govender said.

“There are plans for all three of Huawei’s business groups to eventually move into the campus,” she said. “At present, the consumer business group, the Innovation Centre and Open Lab are still in Vunani Office Park in Sandton, and the enterprise business group is still in Bryanston.”

The company has invested about US$100m (R1.2bn at the time of writing) in the new Woodmead campus to purchase and refurbish the property and buildings.

It said that in 2016, it invested $5m in an innovation centre with the department of telecoms & postal services. It also created the first Huawei Open Lab in Africa. This comes on top of investments in ICT skills — through its training centre, it has skilled up 20 000 people.

“Through these investments, we want to contribute to growing South Africa’s ICT ecosystem,” sadi Huawei South Africa CEO Steven Wu in e-mailed comments sent to TechCentral.

Huawei has about 1 050 direct employees in South Africa. It has a further 5 000-odd subcontractors

Credit: TechCentral