On Thursday evening, 11 November 2021, the corner of Nelson Mandela Avenue, and Hofmeyer street in Klein Windhoek buzzed as esteemed guests attended the unveiling of Capricorn Group’s state-of-the-art new office facilities – Capricorn Corner. The building’s inauguration was officiated by Mr Koos Brandt, one of the founders of Bank Windhoek in 1982 and Capricorn Group visionary.
Capricorn Group chairperson Mr Johan Swanepoel passionately recalled the board’s deliberations on the construction of the building, whilst faced with the economic impact of Covid-19. He said, “The board was very mindful of the positive impact the project would have in securing jobs and stimulating the economy. When others were disinvesting, postponing investment, and cutting capital expenditure, Capricorn Group took the bold decision to invest, and the board approved the development of Capricorn Corner. The investment in Capricorn Corner helped secure 250 jobs over 16 months and injected N$110 million into our economy.”
Capricorn Corner will house the Group’s Data Centre, an in-house training centre, various departments of Bank Windhoek such as Trust and Estate, People Development, Operations, and the Collateral Department. The office block was designed according to world-class standards to be future-proof, environmentally friendly and safe to meet the current needs of employees and the future workforce.
The office block of 3,258 square metres consists of 5 floors, nine boardrooms, conference facilities for 40 people, a training centre with four classrooms, and a technologically advanced data centre. It also boasts a facility that can host up to 100 people for events. In addition, the conference and event spaces have live-steaming capabilities, and the classrooms are equipped to facilitate remote training.
After the United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP26, the focus worldwide is on climate change. Capricorn Group emphasised that they take their role as a corporate citizen and their responsibility towards the environment seriously. Hence, the deliberate investment in an environmentally friendly building with impressive energy-saving features such as LED lights throughout the building; motion sensor lights in all bathrooms, common areas, offices, and classrooms; heat recovery air conditioning; and double-glazed windows. Furthermore, waterless urinals, water-saving taps, and toilets were installed to save water, and soon the building will also operate on solar power.
The Group kept true to its prior commitment to fight Covid-19 in constructing the modern building. They installed UV lights in the air conditioning system, which helps eliminate viruses before the air is recirculated into the office to manage better the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and other possible infections. The doors are also developed with facial recognition access control, automatic no-touch access, and lift operations to reduce physical touch.
The construction of Capricorn Corner started on the 10th of June 2020, and the building was completed at the end of October 2021 despite the supply chain delays in the wake of Covid restrictions in Africa and Europe and the recent riots in South Africa. Capricorn Corner was named after Capricorn, the Group’s mother brand, derived from the Tropic of Capricorn, which symbolizes abundance and the creation of positive change for the country’s people.
The roots of Capricorn Group have run deep in Namibia for nearly 40 years. The Group supported many local businesses and secured jobs by providing work and income-earning opportunities during a challenging period, especially for the construction industry. Capricorn Corner is proudly a Namibian building – designed, constructed, equipped, furnished, and decorated by Namibians.