Masondo visits Alexandra Renewal Project

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Johannesburg - Johannesburg Executive Mayor Amos Masondo will this morning visit the Alexandra Renewal Project, which recently won an award from United Nations Habitat for successfully revitalizing an urban environment.

The Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP) was launched in 2001 to bring social, economic, physical and institutional developments to the historic township.

Among its objectives were to fix urban infrastructure, build houses and parks, convert hostels into family units and generally change the urban landscape of Alexandra.

UN Habitat said the project had seen some 7 000 families relocated from the banks of a polluted local river to better settlements.

"Urban greening was incorporated in the scheme which led to development of parks and recreation areas, new houses and schools were constructed and many other facilities are being refurbished," said the organisation.

New clinics improved access to healthcare, while 46 000 hygienic refuse bins have been distributed, drastically improving garbage collection.

More than 70 percent of the residents now have access to water and sanitation and 88 percent have safe electricity, a major milestone in a place once referred to as "Dark City".

Masondo's visit will be an opportunity for him to assess some of the challenges that still remain within Alexandra with regards to housing and the construction of illegal structures, many of them on the banks of the river as well as the need for a new community centre.

It forms part of his annual Mayoral Roadshow and will include stopovers in the suburbs of Bruma, Cyrildene, Orange Grove, Kew and Lombardy West in the City's Region E.

The mayor will be accompanied by members of the mayoral committee and senior officials of Johannesburg, including the Director of the ARP, Dumisani Job Sithole,

He will also visit the Helen Joseph and Madala Hostels that will soon be demolished and replaced by new developments.