File photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko.

DURBAN - The inter-governmental team working on the renewal of Gauteng's Alexandra township met in Pretoria on Wednesday to work on a short-term plan for the beleaguered area. 

Home Affairs minister Dr. Siyabonga Cwele described the meeting as “cordial, frank, encouraging and cooperative”.

Cwele chaired the meeting on behalf of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize. 

Mkhize - the convenor of the inter-ministerial task team (IMTT) - was in Durban with president Cyril Ramaphosa visiting areas that had been devastated by a violent storm that swept through KwaZulu-Natal on Monday night. 

In a statement issued by Cogta on Wednesday night, the department said the IMTT discussed the implementation of a short-term plan on basic service delivery that could be implemented over the next six months. 

Ramaphosa visited Alexandra on April 11 following a week of service delivery protests. The IMTT for the township was borne out of that visit and a memorandum from residents. 

"The meeting was preceded by a meeting of the IMTT with the Alexandra Property Owners Association, the Alexandra Land Task Team, the Alexandra Land and Property Owners Association and the South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO), to hear their concerns and issues. Last week the IMTT had met with the Alexandra Shut Down Committee," said the statement. 

“We are encouraged with the spirit of cooperation from the three spheres of government displayed in this very first meeting. The work done thus far is encouraging and provides a good basis for us to move forward,” said Cwele.

In the next six months, said the statement, relevant spheres of government would work with the Alex community on an intensive clean-up campaign which included poorly kept cemeteries and overgrown roadsides. 

Also part of the short-term plan would be fixing sewerage spillage into the streets, addressing the proliferation of illegal shacks and other structures that were contravening municipal by-laws and addressing the high crime rate and proliferation of large illegal weapons used in robberies and murder. 

Parallel to this process, a medium term plan was proposed to be developed in partnership with communities, the private sector, research institutions and government with a view to use Alexandra and its surrounding areas as a model to develop a post-apartheid city, said the statement. 

This would be done using existing frameworks such as the Integrated Urban Development Framework, National Development Plan, Gauteng Spatial Development Framework and the Municipal Spatial Development Framework.

Present at the meeting were small business development minister Lindiwe Zulu; human settlements minister Nomaindia Mfeketo; rural development minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Cogta deputy minister Andries Nel and deputy minister of public service and administration, Dr. Chana Pilane-Majake.

Provincial leaders in attendance included Gauteng premier David Makhura and Gauteng's Cogta MEC, Dikgang Uhuru Moiloa. 

City of Johannesburg executive mayor Herman Mashaba also attended the meeting along with members of the mayoral council. 

African News Agency (ANA)