Share this article

​​​​A new design-savvy, environmentally-conscious multipurpose centre is currently under construction in the Inner-City Eastern Gateway, Johannesburg. 
​The construction of the Bertrams Multipurpose Centre on the eastern edge of the Inner-City Central Business District promises to be a catalyst for economic growth 
in the area. Implemented by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), the development is set to transform the area into a modern business hub.

The shiny new facility will offer social development services to the people of Region F. It will house a community hall, senior citizens support, women’s empowerment centre, childcare, social development offices, youth and skills development facilities and a basketball court.

The construction works for the Bertrams Multipurpose Centre comprise the demolition of existing structures and the construction of a new multi-storey multipurpose centre which will stand as a new landmark presence in the area.

The skills centre has served the community for many years, with sewing, cooking, baking, and early childhood development, among other offerings. Bertrams is one of the oldest in Johannesburg. Once completed, the Betrams Multipurpose Centre will support local economic development, encourage further investment and upgrading in the area and promote improved social cohesion.
Speaking at the sod-turning ceremony recently, Executive Mayor, Councillor Mpho Phalatse, said the JDA projects must ensure that local businesses, especially Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises are beneficiaries during the construction phase.

 The construction of the Bertrams Multipurpose Centre aligns with the JDA’s vision to build a more welcoming, competitive and resilient Johannesburg that is a better city to live, work and play in. 
The project also aligns with the Joburg 2040 GDS outcome of efficiently and effectively delivering sustainable social and economic infrastructure projects. The aim is to develop resilient, liveable, sustainable urban environments - underpinned by infrastructure supportive of a low-carbon economy.


Good infrastructure is the backbone of a healthy, growing city economy. 

The Creative Axis Architects is the team doing the design for this project and drew their inspiration from the award-winning Westbury Transformation Development Centre (WTDC). Another JDA implemented a world-class facility that emerged as a winner in Architectural Design: Mixed Use Architecture at the 2019 Architecture Master Price (AMP) awards.


The facility’s green elements mean the multipurpose centre is energy-efficient and sustainable, with a lower carbon footprint causing a minimal impact on the environment.

A street-facing agricultural garden has greenhouses with training rooms, and hydroponic and aquaponic facilities will form part of the construction works. The garden component will extend to the roof through balconies and vertical interior spaces.  

Extensive glazing will allow ample daylight and the natural feel flowing through the building.


The site of the Bertrams Multipurpose Centre is adjacent to the Greater Ellis Park. The sports precinct is part of the revitalisation project by the JDA to transform the area into an eye-catching, accessible hub linking sport, education, residential and transport sectors.

It is strategic and conveniently located adjacent to public transport like Rea Vaya BRT service, numerous buses, and taxi routes to the CBD and eastern suburbs of Jeppestown, New Doornfontein, Troyeville and Kensington to access the facility. 

The breath-taking multipurpose centre upgrade is an inspiration that will provide opportunities for social interaction, empowering and motivating youth, the elderly, and sports lovers to participate in sports and improve their lifestyle to stay healthy.

The policy of the City of Joburg is to reach the 30% local spend and provide access to employment opportunities to local contractors to participate in the delivery of the associated scope of works.

Once the facility is complete, the City of Johannesburg will hand it over to Social Development Department. 

MMC for Health and Social Development, Councillor Ashley Sauls I agreed that the building was condemned for good reason as it is in the Executive Mayor’s heart to see the City of Johannesburg become a Golden City again.

He implored all those involved in construction to execute their tasks with military precision and to produce high-quality work within budget and within the stipulated time frame.