Former De Klerk House transformation begins
The Department of Transport and Public Works has started a R58 million project to transform the Mossel Bay building formerly known as De Klerk House and also as the Sportskool in Marsh Street. This past week, construction personnel were already on site.
The building has been empty for years and became a den of iniquity, where police and neighbourhood watches had their hands full, trying to curb criminal activity. However, crime at the empty building will soon be a thing of the past.
Department spokesperson Byron la Hoe says they are going to transform the premises into a Western Cape Government shared offices building.
Construction work will include the demolition of derelict outbuildings, additions, and upgrades to the existing main building. The new internal layout will include offices and modernised workplaces for user departments as well as new services and finishes throughout the complex. The pedestrian entrances from Marsh and Upper Cross Streets, as well as the vehicle access from Field Street, will also be upgraded.
La Hoe says the project is expected to be completed in mid-2020. Once the project is complete, the modernised building will provide office space for staff of the provincial departments of Social Development and Education (currently housed in the Willem van Heerden Building), Health (currently housed in Dias), and Agriculture (new offices).
He says they are committed to creating employment and skills training opportunities. "During the course of this project, up to 45 people are expected to benefit."
La Hoe says the lease agreement for offices in Dias will come to an end when the shared offices are ready. The Willem van Heerden Building will fall vacant and will then be converted into a Department of Health clinic. "A part of this building may be rented to the local municipality. Internal policies and statutory requirements oblige the Western Cape Government to make the best possible use of available resources."
This building will now be renovated and turned into offices.