Construction is well underway on the new council chamber for the City of Johannesburg, which forms part of a R2.5 billion face-lift to the governance district of the city.
The chamber is being developed by the city through the Joburg Property Company and is said to be over halfway complete.
The chamber itself carries a development cost of R280 million, but forms part of a R2.5 billion upgrade to the chamber precinct in Braamfontein which was approved by an ANC majority council in 2015.
The new chamber will form the core of Johannesburg’s new planned Metro Centre, which the developers say will be built with the sole purpose to improve service delivery to the city’s residents.
This, the company said, would be achieved by:
- Improving service delivery by broadening access to the processes in the Council;
- Increasing operational efficiency through improved utilisation of city-owned resources;
- Centralising administrative activities in a well-equipped and modern premises;
- Revitalising marginalised areas of the city;
- Creating an urban environment that embodies the soul of the city – cohesion, efficiency, and sustainability.
A future development proposal was to incorporate a legislature building with direct access to the council chamber. Construction on the chamber was expected to be completed in May.
Other developments proposed to be part of the R2.5 billion development include retail shops and restaurants; residential apartments; a hotel; a gym; a crèche for council employees’ children; an open-air amphitheater; food gardens; a banqueting hall for large events; and government departments such as Home Affairs and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).
With a new council set to be established next week following the local government elections, it is speculated that further development may be hindered as opposition parties gain a majority of the budget vote.