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As part of the City of Johannesburg’s strategy to meet demand for new social infrastructure, the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), the City development agent, began the upgrade of the Brixton Social Cluster in January 2018.

Brixton, one of the oldest and well-located suburbs of Johannesburg, was identified as priority precinct on the basis that it has an existing social cluster and the potential to elicit short to medium-term growth and densification within the Empire Perth Development Corridor.

The clustering of social facilities represents a key strategy in providing a basis for growth and densification within the Empire Perth Corridor, which is anchored by the Phase 1B BRT route linking Soweto to Parktown. The land available for new social infrastructure within the corridor, however, is limited and therefore existing clusters have to be optimised for current and future use.

Through a combination of catalytic interventions and upgrades, the Brixton Social Cluster, which is 96% complete for phase one, has been transformed into a vibrant and sustainable social cluster that will offer a range of uses and choices to people who live, play, study, share, socialise and visit these facilities. With additional sports and recreational facilities, the upgraded Brixton Social Cluster will ensure that the communities and neighbouring areas of Brixton enjoy outdoor and social life to the fullest.

Phase one of the project consisted of constructing a new multi-purpose and recreation centre, new and upgraded sports fields and combi-courts, parking, landscaping (hard and soft), lighting, fencing and artwork.

Phase two of the project, which is expected to start in April 2020, will comprise a public square, new library, new coffee shop, an upgraded green open space and kids play area, and an upgraded public swimming pool.

Construction has played a critical role in job creation and skills development, with 30% of the contract value being awarded to SMMEs in the ward. A total of 17 SMMEs and 118 EPWP job opportunities were created during Phase one of construction.

The Brixton Social Cluster project will go a long in benefiting the community of Ward 58 and surrounds, improving the area as a space to live, work and play in, promoting social cohesion and create a vibrant urban environment.