Alexandra is a township that forms part of the Johannesburg Municipality and was often fondly referred to as “Alex” by its residents. Other suburbs of Johannesburg that surround it are Wynberg, Marlboro, Kelvin, Kew and Lombardy East and West. The Jukskei River also runs right through the township.
The suburb is amongst the poorest townships in South Africa, and apart from some very sturdy houses built; most of the dwellings are “Informal Shacks”. It is very well situated for transport reasons as the M1 or Pretoria Main Road runs right passed it on the West, while the N3 or Eastern Bypass runs passed on the East.
Alexandra was founded in 1912 by a Mr H.B. Papenfus who owned the farm where it was situated. The area became known as Alexandra, which was his wife’s name. His idea was to make it a white residential area, but due to the considerable distance from the City Centre, it became a “Native Township”. The region was one of the few areas were black South Africans could own their land.
The apartheid government made a plan in the 1960’s to demolish all family housing and erect “Single-Sex Hostels” in their place. This resulted in riots by the residents and so by 1979 the plan was abolished and in 1982 Alexandra was recognised as an official residential area. The area began to grow and soon a new section on the east side had to be developed.
Today Alexandra is undergoing a major change as informal shacks are being replaced with houses. Lighting in streets is also being approved together with other important infrastructure. There have also been some important people that have lived in Alexandra. Public figures like, Nelson Mandela, Zanele Mbeki, Samora Machel, Joe Modise and Hastings Banda.
Nearby Johannesburg Suburbs:
Abbotsford, Atholl, Benmore Gardens, Birdhaven, Bramley, Bruma, Bryanston, Cheltondale, Cyrildene, Edenburg, Elton Hill, Epsom Downs, Fairwood, Fourways, Gallo Manor, Glenhazel, Greenstone Hill, Gresswold, Highlands North, Houghton Estate, Illovo, Inanda, Kew, Khyber Rock, Killarney, Lone Hill, Magaliessig, Marlboro, Melrose, Morningside, Norscot, Norwood, Oaklands, Orange Grove, Petervale, River Club, Rivonia, Ruiterhof, Sandhurst, Sandown, Sandton, Solridge, Sophiatown, Strydompark, Vrededorp, Waterval Estate, Westbury, Westcliff