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Cogta plans to attend to Alex service delivery challenges - Bapela

Deputy Minister Obed Bapela gave evidence at the SAHRC inquiry into Alexandra, which was set up following a series of protests in the area caused by demands for better services.

Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Obed Bapela, at the SAHRC’s inquiry into Alexandra township on 24 July 2019. Picture: Edwin Ntshidi/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Deputy Minister Obed Bapela on Wednesday said the department had come up with plans to attend to service delivery challenges in Alexandra, including the removal of illegal structures.

Bapela gave evidence at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) inquiry into Alexandra, which was set up following a series of protests in the township caused by demands for better services.

He was also the chairperson of a task team that was set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa following his visit to the area.

The deputy minister outlined the task team’s plan that sought to attend to problems in Alex.

“Six projects are prioritised to be completed and two court-sanctioned eviction orders are set to be completed to remove illegal residents from the riverside flats and Botlhabelo housing project. Seventy structures have already been identified for demolition,” Bapela said.

Bapela told the inquiry that it would take more than 20 years to urbanise the township.

He said it would cost billions of rand for urbanisation.

“In 2014, when work was being done, we then realised that the old Alexandra will need R12,6 billion, and the surrounding Alexandra with the factories in Marlboro, another additional R3,9 billion will be needed to resettle those people,” he said.