Johnson Controls launches Technology Contracting in Africa

July 2019 Editor's Choice, News, Security Services & Risk Management

Governments and businesses in Africa are making sizable investments in smart buildings, precincts (airports, universities, etc.) and cities. However, ‘smart’ is not easy to do. To address the growing challenge of planning, integrating and maintaining a multitude of different, highly connected systems, Johnson Controls is launching a new offering in the Africa region – it’s called ‘Technology Contracting’.

Archibald Makatini
Archibald Makatini

“With technology advances and an explosion in cloud connectivity, a new approach is needed to construct and run smart buildings,” says Archibald Makatini, regional general manager at Johnson Controls in South Africa. “Johnson Controls’ Technology Contracting provides the needed expertise and oversight to plan and coordinate the implementation, then optimise the performance of the many different engineering, electrical, building and IT systems necessary to power a smart facility.

“This offering has been available internationally for over a decade. Now, with a growing number of smart-facility and smart-city investments in Africa, Johnson Controls’ is committed to building the capacity and resources to power an African Technology Contracting team.”

What Technology Contracting offers

Technology Contracting provides a single point of control and accountability from planning to running a facility. It reaches across design-assist (ensuring key players, such as architects, engineers and technology providers align to meet project intent) to installation, integration, commissioning and maintenance of complex building, business and specialty systems.

Each of Johnson Controls’ Technology Contracting clients are assisted by a dedicated project team comprising technology, engineering, facility management and other experts with global experience. “Our goal is to build an Africa Technology Contracting team that not only draws on Johnson Controls’ global expertise but has a deep understanding of the challenges specific to the continent,” says Makatini.

“Across Africa, with its lack of smart infrastructure, large socio-economic burden and the need to drive economic growth, digital technology is opening up a wealth of new opportunities,” notes Marius Brits, Connected Technology BDM at Johnson Controls.

“Mass urbanisation is making it a priority to put in place the fundamental infrastructure needed for smart buildings, facilities and cities. We are already seeing the first smart cities being planned and built in Zambia, Ghana, Mauritius and Kenya. We are also seeing smart airports, universities and hospitals being designed. However, it is also becoming vital to invest in smart building capabilities for existing buildings to ensure security and cost efficiencies can be achieved.

“Johnson Controls, with its HVAC, building management, security and fire systems, with sophisticated facility management services, finds itself positioned at the juncture of electronics, engineering and information technology infrastructure and systems, and is increasingly being approached by local partners and customers to provide technology contracting services.”

The reality African investors, construction houses and design, engineering and technology suppliers are facing is that traditional approaches to construction are no longer feasible.

Explains Brits: “Historically, every supplier or specialist provider is responsible for the installation of their equipment. Construction managers are tasked with connecting systems as varied as HVAC, security, communications, IT and business management systems. However, with so many varied systems, technologies and subcontractors involved, there is duplication of product logic and infrastructure, integration is difficult, data is underutilised and the gaps in data security are growing.

“Because everything is now digitally enabled and connected, building, plant and information systems cannot be implemented in isolation; to function optimally, they need to be integrated to each other and to back-office and external systems. Common platforms are needed to ensure integration and technology roadmaps must be scrutinised to ensure ongoing compatibility and evolution of functionality.

“Planning needs to begin at the design phase and construction needs to be overseen by a provider with broad and deep capabilities that reach across smart connected equipment, building controls, fire and security, IT networks and systems, and specialty business applications. This approach allows the technology contractor to ensure the building is created not as a collection of systems, but as a functional whole, conceived, designed and delivered with the end in mind.”

For more information contact Johnson Controls, +27 11 921 7129,,


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Key criteria in the selection of CCTV control room operators
Issue 5 2020, Leaderware , Editor's Choice
Some people are better at aspects of the job of CCTV operator than others, and some companies put in a lot more effort in choosing their operators than others.

Leaders in risk and security: As long as there are people, there will be risk
Issue 5 2020, iFacts, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice
Jenny Reid is a self-made success, focusing on people, the risks they create and the potential they have.

XProtect available on AWS
Issue 5 2020, Milestone Systems, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice
Milestone recently announced the availability of XProtect on Amazon Web Services. Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked Keven Marier for more information.

From data centre to edge, from one source
Issue 5 2020 , Editor's Choice
First Distribution (FD) is better known in South Africa as an ICT distributor with an enterprise focus. Its offerings in this regard range from client solutions through to hosted solutions, data centre ...

Paxton launches access and video management
Issue 5 2020, Paxton Access , Editor's Choice
Paxton’s next-generation access control and video management system, Paxton10, officially launched in South Africa on 2 July 2020. Paxton10 is the next step in complete security solutions and combines ...

The evolution of security in residential estates
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020 , Editor's Choice, Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management
Two large estates discuss their security processes and the ever-expanding scope of responsibilities they need to fulfil.

The COVID test for estate business continuity planning
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice
Many estates were caught unaware when the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown hit. Helderberg Village was ready for the challenge.

Bang for your security buck(s)
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020, Alwinco , Editor's Choice, Security Services & Risk Management
Hi-Tech Security Solutions asks how estates can maintain a good security posture in the time of the ever-shrinking budget.

Local or remote management
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020, Xone Integrated Security, Vox Telecom, Fidelity ADT , Editor's Choice
Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked three companies well versed in offering control room services – either remote, local, or both – what’s happening in the estate monitoring and/or management market.

Residential Estate Security Conference 2020
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice
Back in the old days when conferences that people attended in a single location were a thing, Hi-Tech Security Solutions held its Residential Estate Security Conference 2020 at the Durban Country Club.