Urban renewal projects are intended to create high visible impact in the communities, attracting investment from the private sector - and creating economic opportunities and jobs.
The Gauteng projects are presently focusing on three townships - Alexandra, Evaton and Bekkersdal - which are neglected, under-developed and with high levels of unemployment and poverty.
These townships tell a story of the past, the apartheid settlements that condemned people to live in squalor, providing reservoirs of cheap labour for industrial areas. Life in these areas was characterised by residents travelling long distances to sell their labour and then return to a dormitory-like existence.
Urban renewal is about transforming these areas into attractive and functioning settlements.
In Alexandra there are presently 38 projects to achieve these aims, and in Bekkersdal the core objective is to address the plight of those residents located on high-risk dolomite land.
The project intends to secure suitable land to accommodate the affected residents. With regard to the relocation process, which also involves the Zenzele settlement, the department of housing has targeted sections of land in Westonaria South and Doogehewuel/Middelvlei as ideal sites.
The Evaton renewal project will also focus on high impact development by prioritising infrastructure for the area.