Alexandra Renewal Project improving residents' lives

Published by the JDA on 27 June 2014.

Since the Alexandra Renewal Project was implemented in 2001, the township has scored some successes, however, challenges, which the urban regeneration project is still grappling with, remain.

The once-dusty streets of the township have been replaced by tarred roads, and new houses have sprung up to replace shacks. The air of order in the area is a welcome one, making the 102-year old township a better place to live.

The Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP) was launched in February 2001 during then-President Thabo Mbeki's State of the Nation Address. The initial budget, R1.3-billion, was to be used over seven years to embark on an integrated development programme that would address housing, roads, water supply, sanitation and other infrastructure in the township. But the project continues, as Alexandra's population grows, and has required more investment.

Private sector investment has spearheaded developments such as Pan Africa and the Alex Plaza, which employ many Alexandra residents. Current projects include the Alex Mental Clinic, Botlhabela Village Phase 2, the River Park Housing Project and the M2 Phase 3 Development.

Despite these improvements, some residents (especially those that haven't benefitted from the upgrade) feel they haven't gained anything from the millions of rands that have been poured into developing the township.

Many residents who live in shacks still feel forgotten, left out from new developments sprouting up around them. Of contention is the issue of allocation of RDP houses mostly in the new housing developments in Extension 7, Extension 8 and River Park.

To exacerbate the situation, corruption and mismanagement charges have been levelled against some of the top managers on the project, leading to it suffering irreparable damage to its reputation.

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