Joburg shuts down Metro Centre offices ‘indefinitely’

Joburg shuts down Metro Centre offices ‘indefinitely’

The City of Johannesburg has confirmed the indefinite closure of the Metro Centre building in Braamfontein.

Joburg shuts down Metro Centre offices ‘indefinitely’
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The building, which is over 50 years old, houses the mayor, council speaker and several core departments.

Last month, 40-year-old transformers blew, affecting the B-Block and the council chamber wing, forcing the city to evacuate the building due to safety concerns.

Mayoral spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamse says the building houses approximately 3,000 city employees.

"The city commissioned a professional team to conduct a comprehensive diagnosis of the four transformers and to provide a report. The report received confirms what has been a known challenge, fear and fact.

"The transformers have outlived their useful life. To exacerbate matters, two weekends ago, the MIS building where these four transformers are situated caught fire, which appears to have started in the area where the transformers are housed."

In 2019, the city commissioned a report into the state of the Metro Centre.

The report which flagged several structural, mechanical and electrical concerns with the building and concluded that the building was unsafe.

In 2022, the multi-party government rejected a report on the state of the Metro Centre and a proposal for the decanting of the offices for a total makeover and revamp of the Metro Centre via a public-private partnership.

Ndamse says the city manager is now looking for temporary accommodation while the fate of the old building is being discussed.

"The Office of the City Manager and the relevant departments are in the process of finalising business continuity measures that will minimise disruption to city services during this period.

"We are now forced by circumstances to fast-track this process but are pleased that the JPC had fortunately commenced with a process of Request for Proposals that is at its final stages of evaluation and which should be finalised within the current month."

He says they want to recreate the Metro Centre as a central hub for the city's administration, economy and residents.


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