Joburg starts construction of Bertrams multi-purpose social development center

The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) has begun construction of the Bertrams Multi-Use Center to the east of the city center Central Business District (CBD).

The Bertrams Multi-Purpose Center will house a community hall, women’s empowerment center, child care centres, senior support facilities, social development offices, youth and skills development facilities and a basketball court.

The suburb of Bertrams is one of the oldest in Johannesburg and the Skills Center has been serving the community for many years offering courses in sewing, cooking, baking and early childhood development among others offers, says City of Johannesburg Health and Social Development MMC Ashley Sauls.

The Bertrams multi-purpose center construction works include the demolition of existing structures and the construction of a new multi-storey multi-purpose centre.

Once completed, the Betrams multi-purpose center will support local economic development, encourage new investment and modernization of the region, and foster better social cohesion. It will be handed over to the Department of Social Development when completed, he said.

Additionally, the facility’s green or eco-friendly elements mean that the multi-purpose center is energy efficient and sustainable, with a low carbon footprint and minimal impact on the environment.

A street-facing agricultural garden includes greenhouses with training rooms, and hydroponic and aquaponic facilities will be part of the construction work. The garden will extend to the roof with balconies and vertical interior spaces. Extensive glazing will allow daylight to flood throughout the building, Sauls says.

Construction of the Bertrams Multipurpose Center aligns with the JDA’s vision to build a more welcoming, competitive and resilient Johannesburg that is a great place to live, work and play.

The project also aligns with the Joburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy outcome of effectively and efficiently delivering sustainable social and economic infrastructure projects. The goal is to develop resilient, livable and sustainable urban environments, underpinned by infrastructure that supports a low-carbon economy, says Sauls.

Bertrams Multipurpose Center is adjacent to Greater Ellis Park. The Sports Precinct is part of the JDA’s revitalization project to transform the area into an attractive and accessible hub linking the sports, education, housing and transportation sectors.

It is strategically and conveniently located next to public transport like the Rea Vaya bus rapid transit service, buses and taxi routes, allowing access to the facility from the CBD and eastern suburbs of Jeppestown , New Doornfontein, Troyeville and Kensington.

“Upgrading the multi-purpose center will provide opportunities for social interaction, empowering and motivating young people, the elderly and sports enthusiasts to participate in sports and improve their lifestyles to stay healthy. The policy of the city of Joburg is to achieve 30% local spending and provide access to employment opportunities for local contractors to participate in the delivery of the associated scope of works,” says Sauls.

Joel C. Hicks