New look for old building
The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) has turned a disgraceful building into an object of pride for its tenants.
The revamped BG Alexander in Hillbrow, once a nurses' home, will have 402 rental units when it is completed.
Already 227 units are let and 153 are at advanced stage of completion.
One of the occupants, Gift Mncube, said he was happy to be living at BG Alexander.
"I stayed at Berea before moving here. This place is better. The rent is affordable.
"There is a security guard monitoring movements at the entrance of the building.
"I have no fear that my apartment can be broken into. It is also convenient to public transport," Mchunu said.
Joshco, the City of Johannesburg's housing unit, yesterday officially unveiled the eight-storey structure.
Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo said the building was an example of the council's continuing commitment to providing housing for the residents of the city.
Referring to crime statistics released recently by Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula, Masondo said such housing projects would help change the image of Hillbrow.
"Hillbrow is amongst the areas where street robbery, attempted murder, and assault have been reported," he said.
"It is therefore necessary, as we embark on our work of upgrading and refurbishing these buildings, that the residents of Hillbrow and the inner city become part of the crime-fighting brigade."