The old Eskom regional office building in Johannesburg will be remodelled and renovated to respond to the demand of decent and affordable accommodation.
According to Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, the accommodation gap in the inner city had led to lack of proper and affordable accommodation.
Sisulu said the department had planned to make Braamfontein a hub through the provision of social housing and student accommodation.
The congestion and crowding of informal settlements in the inner city had brought about crime in Braamfontein and turning it into a hub would make it safe and also reduce crime, she said.
“It is well located and close to amenities, including institutions of higher learning, transport and shopping centres.”
The Eskom building, built in 1954, consisted of 16 floors and 200 parking bays and would be used for student accommodation and social housing.
According to the Housing Development Agency (HDA), the estimate for the remodelling was more than R295 million, including R60 million for land acquisition, R10 million for holding costs, project feasibility professional teams worth R14 million, planning costs worth R11 million and R200 million for construction costs.
The HDA said the building would accommodate more than 800 students with half of the building used for two bedrooms, for undergraduate students, sharing, and the rest single bedrooms for postgraduates.
The housing agency said the building would be self-sustainable with water recycling, water harvesting, Eskom and city power joint service to avoid load shedding and also solar energy and low energy appliances.
The residential units are expected to have a social impact on the area, with support services such as information technology rooms, study rooms, medical facilities, gyms and also restaurants and canteens.
“A successful development should incorporate medium-density and mixed housing and be close to economic opportunities,” the minister said.