Alexandra Township (affectionately known as Alex) is located on the banks of the Jukskei River, close to the wealthy suburb of Sandton. The Township celebrated its centenary in 2012, a one-hundred-year tale of conflict, hardship and extreme poverty. It is home to approximately 400,000 residents and has an estimated number of more than 20,000 informal dwellings or ‘shacks’.
Alex has been affected catastrophically by HIV/Aids, overcrowding, crime, lack of general infrastructure, the breakdown of family structure, and a lack of educational opportunities, resulting in a vicious cycle of unemployment and poverty. Even in post-Apartheid years, attempts at urban renewal have been slow, education facilities continue to be sub-standard, communal and political conflicts have continued, and most residents still live in appalling conditions.
Due to Alex’s desperate needs and its proximity to our support base, the Rays of Hope projects are focused in and around the Township.