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A mental health clinic and housing are among the priorities in Alexandra. The renewal project got R90-million in the provincial budget.
A MENTAL health clinic is to be built right in the heart of Alexandra – a first for the township – in the latest development of the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP).

 

Several housing projects are complete, including the K206 Extension 9Several housing projects are complete, including the K206 Extension 9The clinic will help people suffering from “stress and depression, and also [offer] rehabilitation programmes”, according to the ARP director, Job Sithole.
 

Mandla Nkomfe, the Gauteng finance MEC, gave the renewal project a R90-million boost from the provincial government in his 2011 provincial budget on 8 March. The cash will accelerate certain developments, like the clinic and additional water and sanitation infrastructure, says Sithole.

The ARP was set up 10 years ago, its mission to rehabilitate and develop Alexandra, prioritising high impact economic and social infrastructure upgrades and development such as roads, transport, housing, water, creation of parks and other vital services.

In 2010, the project received R120-million from the province; the budget cut this year will mean it will prioritise its programmes.

A key initiative is the completion of the housing project in Extension 2, Botshabelo. “We are serious about getting rid of informal settlements and squatter camps. Our mission is to provide decent housing for the people and at the same time change the face of Alexandra.”

The housing project, expected to be completed before the end of the year, will accommodate the last group of people living near the risky floodlines of the Jukskei River. Since its inception, the project has built more than 10 000 houses.

Of the new clinic, Sithole says: “We are going to work as hard as we can to ensure that we complete this clinic as quickly as possible.” Construction is expected to begin in June and be completed sometime towards the end of the year.

 

Storm water drains will be installed to regulate Jukskei RiverStorm water drains will be installed to regulate Jukskei RiverProjects around the Jukskei are also continuing. “We will be installing another storm water drain near the river to regulate the flow of water.”
 

The ARP is also looking to build more footbridges across various roads in Alexandra to give pedestrians a safe way of crossing. These proposals, however, still need to be approved by the City.

Road maintenance and the construction of new roads are also crucial. “We are working with the City to ensure our roads are maintained regularly to prevent potholes.”

Other topics up for discussion with the City are the extension of water and sanitation provision, and other services.

“The ARP is gradually showing visible gains for the community of Alexandra,” said Humphrey Mmemezi, the MEC for local government and housing, in a media statement released after the provincial budget was tabled.

He focused on work done along the Jukskei River, where people living below the floodline are moved to safer housing areas. He urged people not to build on the empty space left behind. By not building in these areas, the housing backlog could be reduced and this would lighten the financial load on the housing department.

 

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